The Chairman 31/07/2013
NABARD, Head Office
Sub: Participation of Senior Officers in Agitational Programs of NBOA
Please refer to Circular No. PPD-32 dated 25/07/2013 on the captioned subject. In this connection the following is humbly submitted -
- NBOA is a recognized body, representative of all the officers of NABARD, including senior officers (grade ‘D & E’) and top management officers (grade ‘F’ and EDs).
- In the past, as in the present, even top management officers and senior officers have not only participated in all the legitimate activities of NBOA and have honored the calls given by NBOA, but have also been the top most office bearers of the NBOA from time to time. To name a few, S/Shri Kashivishwanathan, Vipin Chandran, Noorullah, SB Sharma, S C Wadhwa, K T Oommen, Ranjit Roy, U K Mohanty, etc. have held top positions in NBOA. NBOA has always behaved with utmost responsibility and restrain and has always kept the interest of NABARD as also the membership at the top of its agenda. That NBOA has in tandem with management always strived for ushering in conducive and friendly Industrial relations and has together with the top executives (Chairman/MD/EDs) has worked in tandem to strengthen NABARD.
- Forming an Association to put forth legitimate views and demands is a constitutional right of all, including officers. GoI has never issued any instruction barring and/or curtailing such rights of any category of officers to air their grievances in a peaceful manner through their respective Associations, etc.
- GoI has only advised officers who are in the top management not to participate in STRIKES ONLY WITHOUT CURTAILING THEIR RIGHTS TO PARTICIPATE IN GATE MEETINGS AND OTHER FORMS OF PEACEFUL PROTESTS. This too was done to maintain law and order, essential services, etc. and not to put an end to form Association and to participate in its legitimate activities. Thus restraining any category of officers from participation in gate meetings and peaceful protests is uncalled for.
- We would also like to mention that the Bank has not even deemed it fit to provide a copy of this draconian circular to NBOA. MAY WE, THEREFORE, REQUEST YOU TO KINDLY PROVIDE US WITH A COPY OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS DECISION ON THE ISSUE ALONG WITH THE GoI’s INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THIS DECISION HAS BEEN TAKEN. This will enable us, if need be, to take up the issue at the highest levels including with honorable Members of the Board, Govt of India, etc. and also to apprise our membership on the issue.
- Incidentally, we have also come to know that our referral organization RBI too has never issued such an instruction and the officers associations at RBI have not been put under any such unconstitutional restraint. Similarly no such Circulars have ever been issued at other apex organizations like IDBI/SIDBI.
- Even if we go by the practice prevailing in commercial banks regarding association activities and if NABARD is to emulate them then we demand immediate implementation of putting up of ‘Officers Representative on Board Of Directors’ as also putting in place a structured methodology of having a regular interaction with Associations and a quasi-judicial tribunal based grievance readdressal system.
UNFORTUNATELY, UNDER YOUR REGIME, WHATEVER LITTLE OR MORE PROCESS OF CONSULTATION/DISCUSSION WAS EARLIER AVAILABLE TO NBOA TOO HAS BEEN COMPLETELY SNAPPED AND DESTROYED BY THE BANK.
In fact, in the recent past, may be with or without your knowledge, a spate of Anti Association decisions taken by the Bank has led us to believe that Bank is hell bent to destroy, destruct and disrupt the legal, constitutional and legitimate activities of NBOA so as to completely do away with any participatory managerial functioning and impose a gag order on all opinions and healthy debates. A few of the anti Association stands of the Bank are enumerated below-
- Non convening of Annual Discussion , Joint Consultative Committee meetings and/or any other formal/ informal mode of discussion with NBOA, in spite of our repeated requests.
- Stoppage of the practice of marking important circulars/ communication to NBOA.
- Non-sanctioning/approval of legitimate leaves to NBOA office-bearers for attending to Association activities/ meetings in contravention to Banks extant rules.
- Denial of travelling expenses to office bearers of NBOA even in the cases where they have travelled to attend the meetings convened by the management itself.
- Non implementation of the assurances given to NBOA on or before 10/07/2012 meetings.
- Transferring the main office-bearers of the Association away from Mumbai to adversely affect its functioning and now, through this circular, effectively destroy the membership of senior officers in NBOA.
We are therefore of the view that issuance of the circular under reference is unconstitutional in nature, divisive in design, uncalled for, unwarranted and infringes upon the rights of the officers to safeguard their interests, as guaranteed under the Constitution of India in so far as freedom of thought, speech and peaceful protests is concerned.
WE URGE UPON YOU TO IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW THE CIRCULAR UNDER REFERENCE AND RESTORE THE HEALTHY AND CONDUCIVE INDUSTRIAL HARMONY IN THE BANK.
(Dr D S Chauhan)