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Monday, December 26, 2011

State-run banks told to discard fast-track promotion policies

NEW DELHI: The finance ministry has directed state-run banks to do away with their separate promotion policies, a move strongly opposed by the officers' unions. The fresh guidelines aim at removing the anomalies across public sector banks and addressing severe manpower shortage by creating a common pool of managers.

This spells the end of fasttrack and super fast-track promotions at managerial levels in some public sector banks, including the country's largest lender, State Bank of India. The new guidelines will allow lateral movement across banks without any remuneration issues, a finance ministry official said.

"The guidelines will also ensure that there are eligible candidates across all verticals in all 21 state-run banks, which is a big advantage when it comes to succession planning," said a human resources head at a Mumbai-based bank. The 2.5 lakh strong All India Bank Officers' Confederation has, however, slammed the revised guidelines.

"The government should realise the situation is different in each bank and it cannot force its policies," said TN Goel, senior vice-president of the confederation. As per the guidelines, an employee will have to work in all verticals of a bank before being promoted to the middle management level.

"Specialists recruited in banks will however have to spend at least five years in their area before being moved to other functions," the finance ministry official said. Further, in a case where a relaxation has been provided on the basis of merit, the same officer will not be eligible again, the official said.

The guidelines run contrary to the recommendations of a panel, set up to look into human resource issues at state-run banks, which had recommended that the banks should develop mechanisms for identifying star performers and to track their performance for fast-track growth. Headed by former Bank of Baroda chairman AK Khandelwal, the panel had suggested that such a move will act as a motivational and retention tool, besides creating a leadership pipeline.

Source: EconomicTimes


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