EXCLUSIVE: Bankers could work every 31 days of March with government seeking to double loans made under PM SVANidhi program
- Whether it is a Sunday, Holi or Mahashivratri, employees of public sector banks in some parts of the country can work every 31 days of March.
- The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) sent orders to work two more Saturdays in March to double the disbursement of loans under the PM SVANidhi program by the end of March.
- In order for public sector banks to achieve their internal objectives at year-end, some call on their employees to work on Sundays and public holidays as well.
Public sector banks remain anxious in March as the year draws to a close. It is not uncommon for management to ask employees to take a few extra hours off the job. However, this year some public sector bank employees can work every 31 days of the month.
On the one hand, the Indian government issued an order asking banks to double the disbursements granted under the PM SVANidhi program. And, on the other hand, banks have their own internal goals to achieve in agricultural lending, MSME credit and other aspects.
Banks are looking for more street vendors in need of credit
Decrees from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MOHUA) asked these banks to set foot on gas and to work two additional Saturdays before the end of March.
According to official documents reviewed by Business Insider, the Indian government has set a target of distributing 3 million loans under the PM SVANidhi diet. The program was introduced in June 2020 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to provide street vendors with unsecured loans of up to 10,000 at low interest rates for a period of one year.
However, at the time of writing, only 1.5 million loans have been made so far, which is only half of the target.
|Status of applications||Number of applications|
Source: MOHUA dashboard as of February 25 at 7:38 p.m.
In order to make up the deficit, the MOHUA asked all banks to organize camps on February 27, March 6 and March 13, including two Saturdays off for bankers.
“The camps would be organized in central locations in the city, where each credit institution would put an office and ULBs. [Urban Local Bodies] would be responsible for mobilizing street vendors in these camps, ”indicates the document sent to the banks.
The “high priority” document sent by MOHUA Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra also notes that rejecting a loan application based on low CIBIL scores is not advisable unless the borrower has has defaulted on payment in the past.
A similar document, also seen by Business Insider, was sent by the Ministry of Finance “to speed up the sanction and disbursement of claims”.
No overtime compensation, no weekend off
Some banks – like the State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank, and UCO Bank – have gone further and operated every Saturday, including March 27.
In some areas, such as Punjab and Assam, Canara and SBI bankers have also been invited to come every Sunday and March holidays due to the boost in agricultural lending, which also includes Holi and Maha. Shivratri.
Not only do public sector banks have to fulfill the government’s mandate, but they have their own target to achieve before the end of the year.
“He [circle head] advised to form exclusive teams to retrieve all proforma NPAs in all branches and RO [regional office] officials will be in the field every Sunday and public holiday until the end of March 2021, ”one of the communications told a public sector bank branch manager, who wished to remain anonymous.
This means that employees of public sector banks in specific regions will work the entire 31 days of March without a single day off – without any overtime compensation of any kind.
Sources from several banks also told Business Insider that failure to follow these instructions could result in a “non-compliance” letter in an employee’s file. This affects future promotions and their career progression in banking.
The decision to cancel public holidays and weekends comes at a time when public sector banking unions are planning a two day strike to protest against the government’s privatization initiatives in March.