Millennium Post

FinMin wants PSBs to promote lower grade staff based on merit

Keeping in mind likely mass retirement of GMs and DGMs in state-owned banks, the Finance Ministry has asked public sector lenders to consider promoting lower rung employees on merit to fill manpower shortage.

In a recent meeting with the heads of the state-run banks and the Indian Banks Association (IBA), Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has asked public sector banks to promote Scale-II and III staff from within the bank. “The banks can fill the shortage of manpower at higher levels -- of DGMs and GMs-- due to the likely mass retirement in near future by promoting officers from Scale-II and III on merit,” Adhia said in a letter to PSU bank managements.

Earlier in January, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had raised the issue of shortage of officers at the senior levels in public sector banks during the bankers retreat in Pune. Since then, the ministry has been making efforts to come out with viable solutions to address the manpower issue at PSBs. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India said it is looking at the idea as an option to face the ongoing mass retirement within the bank. “The idea is still at a planning stage at SBI. In fact, this is something we have never tried. We have to promote people from the lower rung, as we cannot hire from outside,” SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said.

PSBs have not done HR planning at senior level and hence banks will have to suffer this problem for next two-three years, said a retired banker. Banks have not recruited officers for the past 8-10 years which has resulted in this precarious situation, he added. According to an IBA data, there were 3,04,090 officials ranging between Scale I and Scale VII in PSBs as on March 2012. This included 1,731 DGMs and 549 GMs. 

However, the IBA could not share the number of retirements that is facing the industry. At present, interviews are on in all the PSBs for promotion of officials. As many as 1,170 AGMs (assistant general managers) have been called for the interviews in SBI against available vacancies of 80, whereas 170 DGMs are being interviewed against 40 GMs’ post. 

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