This is in reference to the column ‘Fixing public sector banks’ (January 16).
Fixing public sector banks
This is in reference to the column ‘Fixing public sector banks’ (January 16). The writer Janmejaya Sinha has succinctly explained the context in which the Indian public sector banks (PSBs) are pathetically placed today. But the solutions offered by him are insufficient. He has taken up only those issues that are created by the owner. What about the messy contribution of PSBs management at all levels? The banks have become too unwieldy and the top managements have simply lost the control over the branches and field staff. Some PSBs attempted to address this issue but without any tangible results. Today, PSBs suffer from a big army of demotivated staff at all levels. Even the managerial cadres work to rule. The accountability issues in big ticket loans are totally missing since such exposures have been decided by the CEO and his/her friends in the Board. How come the private sector peers are managing the show? In private sector, the accountability is real and not show-cased. Performers are rewarded and non-performers are shown the door. Job security for PSBs staff including managers has brought complacency in their functioning. PSBs cleverly point out at the relatively less managerial remuneration for the non-performance. This is not true. Private sector banks pay at the market-related levels and also fix difficult-to-achieve targets. The performance appraisal at PSBs is a big farce. Even the Gyan Sangam deliberations held in the presence of prime minister Narendra Modi are not going to help solve PSBs problems. The all-important privatisation issue was never discussed. Can one expect privatisation remedy from the top management of PSBs? Every body was talking about “politically correct” issues. This does not help. The policy makers have to break the ice. The previous political regimes have created a situation whereby it is difficult to have real reforms in PSBs. The government should be willing to pay a one-time price. The finance ministry which is saddled with massive fiscal deficit fights shy of talking any big bill that comes with the solution.
No to criminal law-makers
One inkling of acche din is the Election Commission approving the disqualification of the candidates who are facing criminal cases. Looks like the new government is gaining credibility and has started to gain the trust of the people in the legislature. This move has obviously given some faith to the common man who can now be sure that the laws made for the aam aadmi will now be made by people who are reliable. The decision has come as a blessing for the people and it will ensure and strengthen their trust in the legislature and judiciary—the two important pillars of democracy.
Shifa Sikri, Ferozepur