Ever since the Government of India announced the demonetisation scheme on 8th November, 2016, the entire banking sector is under turmoil. On the one hand, the banking customers and general public are put to unwarranted difficulties and on the other hand, the employees and officers in the Banks have also been facing extreme difficulties and problems. Keeping the interests of the banks’ clientele and common people in mind, the entire bank employees and officers rose to the occasion and didan extraordinary job in serving them day and night.
It was expected that the Government and the RBI would take necessary steps to mitigate the problems faced by the banks and the public. But even now we find that there is acute shortage of cash supply to the Banks with the result that Bank Branches are not able to honour even the restricted payment of Rs. 24,000/100,000 per week. Most of the ATMs are still non-functional and even where they are functioning, there is no cash to dispense. This is resulting into great inconvenience,disappointment and frustration to the customers, and employees and officers are unable to satisfy them. There are many instances where the customers are showing their resentment on the staff leading to avoidable tensions in the Branch.
There is also no transparency in supply of cash to Banks. While most of our Banks are still suffering from short supply of cash, one cannot understand, how few private Banks get uninterrupted cash supply! Similarly, it is most astonishing that when Branches are starved of cash supply, huge new currency notes are found with some big people. But there is no answer as to how such huge cash has gone out of the Banks.
On the one side, Government is saddling the Banks with implementation of all their schemes thereby adding huge work pressure on the employees and officers without giving adequate manpower.
On the other side, in the case of RBI, where cash management is their sole jurisdiction, Government is unwarrantedly interfering by appointing their officials to monitor cash management thus affecting the autonomy of RBI.
Then, there are reports that quite a number of customers and general public and even bank staff have lost their lives on account of the rush and pressure in the bank branches during the initial days after Government announced the demonetization scheme when there was very heavy rush in the branches. So far there is no sympathy or compensation to the family of the people who have lost their lives. It is very unfair indeed.
While everyone is appreciating the hard work done by the bank employees, officers and Managers in managing the situation in the Banks so well, but when it comes to extend proper compensation and overtime for the long extra hours of additional work done, there is reluctance and hesitation. This is totally unacceptable.
When the ordinary and common people are made to face such problems in the name of curbing black money, the big defaulters of bank loans are getting scot-free. No action is being taken against the increasing menace of huge bad loans in the Banks except provisions from profits, write offs and desperate sale of NPAs.
We have been pursuing these issues with the IBA and Government but with no result.
Hence it has been felt necessary to voice our concern and protest and also demand the following through agitational programmes and strike action.
•Ensure supply of adequate cash to all Banks and Branches including RRBs and Co-operative Banks
•Restore all ATMs immediately and ensure availability of cash in ATMs
•Remove all restrictions on withdrawal of cash by customers
•Stop favouritsm in supply of cash to Banks •Ensure transparency in supply of cash to Banks
•Announce CBI Enquiry on instances of huge new currency notes with some big persons when branches are starved of cash
•Stop diluting autonomy of RBI in currency management
•Compensation to family of general public, bank customers and bank staff who lost their lives recently due to demonetisation episode
•Ensure safety and protection of bank employees and officers by maintaining law and order in all bank branches to prevent harassment of bank staff.
•Proper compensation to employees and officers for their extra work/late sitting done in the last more than a month.
Bad Loans in Banks:
•Publish names of bank loan defaulters of Rs. 1 crore and above
•Take stringent measures to recover bad loans
•Recover bad loans and not to sell bad loans or write offs
•Establish more DRTs and Fast Track Tribunals
•Declare willful default as a criminal offence.