GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (2012-14) AT NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING AT BHOPAL DATED 24/04/2015
As a mark of respect and honor to all those country men who laid down their life in supreme sacrifice, to all those of leaders, exemplary and hard working citizens whom destiny took away from us and to all NABARD Parivar members who left for their heavenly abode, we pay our homage and stand in two minutes silence.
Today, as I stand here on behalf of the CEC, to lay before you the summary of activities and other important issues dealt with by your very own NBOA, a sense of gratitude and satisfaction engulfs me. NBOA, which has been led in the past by luminaries like Sri VipinChandranji, Sri Kashivishwanathanji, Sri S B Sharmaji, Late (Sri) P. Suryanarayanaji, Sri Dhanshekharanji , Sri K.T. Oommenji and Sri U K Mohantyji – to name a few – makes me feel proud that I am chosen by you all and destiny to carry forward the baton. Though, I may not be equal to any of them in caliber and capabilities the mere fact that the present CEC and more importantly I have to carry forward this rich lineage has prompted us to keep the banner of NBOA high and mighty. How much we have succeeded in our activities and endeavor are best left to be judged and evaluated by our membership and the National Council. But, we do take pride in stating only one thing ‘Office-bearers of NBOA were not found lacking in sincerity and good intent in whatever they thought, professed and implemented during the two years tenure of this CEC’.
I seek your permission here to allow me to elaborate a bit as per the following, not only on the AINBOA related activities, but also on the general environment which impacts the very necessity of ours to exist.
1. NABARD : All of us owe our existence to NABARD , an organization created by the Hon’ble parliament of our country with a mandate to serve the Rural poor of this country. This mandate devolves around the activities assigned to NABARD- the primary one being evolving effective strategies to achieve ‘Rural Development through Credit’. In order to achieve this , over the last three decades of its existence , NABARD , has treaded path of success and created a niche and name for itself. As we move forward towards finishing an unfinished agenda our resolve and belief to succeed is cemented by only one singular fact-the capability, commitment and concern towards Rural India-of our Human resource which comprises of NABARD Parivar.
Its not, that things have been always rosy on the corporate front , NABARD has seen its not so difficult and challenging times and also very very hard and challenging times. The advent of policies tilted towards market and reforms have somewhere put the agenda of achieving Equitable and all encompassing Development a little awry at the macro level of the polity of this country. NABARD , being a DFI , has been directly impacted by the change winds sweeping across and it requires a ‘ Course Correction’ both at the Policy as also managerial levels. Access to client friendly Funds, Evolving demand based and requirement based business products and most importantly to keep the mandate of NABARD intact and undiluted are the core of area of concern today , which all of us have to face together. NABARDs’ stake holders-GoI and RBI-are definitely concerned towards this but we-the officers of NABARD and am sure all of us at NABARD- are still looking towards them to provide us a well laid out long term strategic plan so that the aspirations of millions of Farmers and Rural Poor of this country are achieved through NABARDs’ effective interventions through the financial and other development oriented agencies. As a DFI, it is our duty to not only catalyze the process of Development but also provide an effective support and patronizing system to our client organizing, specially to Cooperative sector and to RRBs. The increasing role of CBOs and PP partnerships, in achieving developmental milestones are well recognized today and NABARD too will have to juxtapose and align its policies and interventions to leverage the roles of these organizations to achieve the dream of making a dent in the rural poverty. Our policies cannot be but directed at the welfare of Small & Marginal farmer, the landless rural Indian and the large strata of our society who are socially and financially disadvantaged. Agriculture has been and will remain the mainstay of our Economy, a mere 1% growth in the GDP of Agriculture results in 3-4% growth in secondary and tertiary sector of our economy, leading to creation of job opportunities and better standard of life for millions of this country. Indian Agriculture itself is at a threshold-it is plagued by certain inherent problems like small and fragmented land holdings , non availability of irrigation facilities and a weak marketing and extension system , to cite a few. At the same time the resilience of Indian Farmer and huge untapped potential in this sector, including that in marine agriculture and fisheries, provide us a huge opportunity for times to come. Friends , you will agree that for all this to achieve, the country requires a vibrant , sustainable and financially sound NABARD. AINBOA has been actively and effectively persuading the stakeholders as also our own internal decision makers to take steps in this direction. We can state with some satisfaction that the efforts of AINBOA towards this policy advocacy has resulted in some positive action from the GoI and RBI , albeit a lot remains to be achieved. Unfortunately the organization was traumatized and put on an utterly directionless and in fact destructive path during the period 2011-13 and in the history of NABARD it will be recorded as a dark phase which requires to be forgotten and not repeated ever. The damage done by those at helms of affair continue to haunt the organization inspite of the fact that the present management has started the damage control and course action in right earnest. But for AINBOAs’ resolute efforts the damage could have been many folds, but the collective strength and unity among the officers and employees of NABARD thwarted many corporate misdemeanors and together all of us can take pride in the fact that when organization required it the most, AINBOA stood up with courage and strength to safeguard the interest of NABARD, interest of millions of farmers and off course the interest of its own membership. We are optimistic that the worst ever phase is over and all of us, the employees, the officers and the top management of the bank-who are directly connected with NABARD-must have learnt a few lessons too. I sum up this part of my speech that the biggest lesson which decision makers must have learned is that you can bruise the spirit of united strength of the lesser mortals but you cannot trample and put them out of reckoning and also that nothing can be achieved without taking all together along with. I think and believe that all of you will agree that this single most achievement of your Association-to standup , take cudgels and thwart with all its might all that which was not desirable-outweighs all of our achievements of the past. This doesn’t mean that our success on all other front, by this CEC or the CECs of the past were by any means small and unworthy , all due credit to them , but it was for the first time that the AINBOA faced an onslaught on its very existence and more than that our membership were faced by a draconian and insensitive regime. I take this pride in telling that, without taking a recourse to any step illegitimate and unworthy of our Status and dignity, your AINBOA by taking recourse to organizational, political patronage and legal remedies was able to effectively face the barrage of administrative and corporate onslaughts. Many and several of our member officers were traumatized and put to insurmountable troubles and hardships-and such number runs into hundreds-people were made homeless, people were put to financial loss and agony, people were shunted out to hostile destinations in the name of transfers and most painfully all of us were treated as non existent entity in this great organization. All those who were considered as ‘activists’ were chosen for harsher treatments and many of our members were made to fight their own individual battles in the courts of law to safeguard their jobs and honor. AINBOA too, in-spite of not in a legal position to sue or get sued , has to take recourse to challenge its very own bank in the court of law. The decision of challenging the high and mighty was not only to challenge a policy but to indicate the resolve of AINBOA to fight against injustice at any cost and at any level. Friends, you will agree that all this courage and conviction led to putting up brakes on the reckless decision making of yester years. I take this opportunity to salute the undying spirit and courage of entire membership on this account and would like to specially salute many amongst us who gathered courage and resolve to individually stand up against the injustice and malice shown towards them in particular and officers fraternity in general. Needless to say that as a responsible Association we will never be found wanting to extend our cooperation to one and all who will embark on path of building our NABARD and recognize the role of each and every member and take steps towards legitimate welfare of our members, but like in the past, if an unfortunate occasion arises and warrants us, we will not be found dithering to oppose and thwart , with all legitimate means, what is not good for our NABARD and our membership.
2. I would now like to enumerate a few of the other achievements which this CEC could annex for our membership-
a) CEC has on account of its continued organizational and legal persuasion led the management to have a relook at the Promotion Policy which we have challenged in the court of law. As per the court directives and also because of the sensitive attitude of the present Chairman , the bank has formulated a new promotion policy which effectively addressed our concern on multiple cut-offs making more and more people ineligible to get an opportunity towards career progression , removal of residual services clause, lowering of written test and PAR cut-offs and greatly reducing the number and frequency of lateral recruitment. For the first time , non vacancy based automatic promotion has been introduced in grade ‘A’ to ‘B’ and the choked process of promotion from grade ‘B’ to ‘C’ has been reopened. Not to say that everything in the new policy is good for us, we have again expressed and will continue to express, our concern on such ambiguities as the large scale rejection due to high calling ratios , seniority being almost given a go by and distortion in seniority list due to merger of services. I am sure that the incoming CEC will continue to address these issues both internally and externally and will be able to achieve an amicable solutions to these points of concern too.
b) Transfer policy has been made more conducible and officer friendly though our concern of bringing in more transparency and equitable distribution of hardship postings remains to be addressed adequately. Putting officers to financial loss in lieu of granting them request transfers is also a matter of great concern which needs to be effectively persuaded.
c) AINBOA, has been instrumental , in by and large convincing the management the parity in service conditions with our referral organization is an uncompromising issue for us and we acknowledge with humility the stand of the present chairman and management to extend , by and large, all the facilities in Toto to our officers as prevailing in RBI. We are sure that continued efforts will lead to achieving a few of the other such facilities at par with RBI.
d) Due to our continued efforts the bank has taken a decision to reopen many of the closed DDM offices, demerge the training Institutes , restore many of the business departments and rescind the BCG agenda. Posting of grade ‘C’ and/or senior grade ‘B’ officers as DDMs and giving a concrete shape to subsidiaries and recruitment of base level officers are some of the other initiatives of the present management which emanated from our continued persuasion at all the levels.
e) A pragmatic and aspiring Charter of Demands has been submitted to the bank and we are very sure that our united efforts will make it possible to achieve it.
f) The working of the Association has been made more transparent by convening the meetings at regular intervals and putting in place the services of a‘AINBOA Blog’ along with almost 24x7 availability of office bearers to the members on email and mobile connection.
3. In spite of our best intents we would not have been able achieve 100% success in all our endeavors and a few such instances which come to my mind are-
a) Though AINBOA was able to greatly minimize the uncalled for and undue penalty which bank imposed on our officers in respect of LTC issue, we were not able to completely safeguard the financial interest of our members on this account. A lot has been discussed on the intricacies and the loop with in loops of this mismanaged case by the bank and as such I need not dwell on it further.
b) In spiteof NC directive and my own wish, we have yet to get AINBOA registered under Trade Union Act, primarily because of certain infrastructural and legal requirements which we were unable to meet.
c) Our pursuit for an all acceptable Transfer & Placement Policy still remains a dream in-
spite of many a refinements which we can get from the bank. Task is difficult and/or near impossible but we have to continue to strive for it.
d) Similarly, Our pursuit for an all acceptable Career Progression Policy still remains a distant dream in-spite of many a refinements which we can get from the bank on this account too. Task is again difficult and/or near impossible but we have to still continue to strive for it.
4. Acknowledgements : Whatever we have achieved is dedicated as per the following
a) First and foremost to our great and united membership, without whom nothing could have been possible , in fact AINBOA would not have existed.
b) To our Chief Patron Sri Anil Shastriji , whose guidance and support has always been forthcoming and have inculcated a sense of self belief and strength in us.
c) To our other patrons, specifically S/Shri Harish Rawatji , BasudebAcharayaji , LaljiTandonji , KailashJoshiji, Ravi Saxenaji and many others who have been a continued source of inspiration and support.
d) To our fraternal organizations, specially , AINBEA , who stood by us in true sense of mutual trust and belief.
e) To my fellow senior collogues specially to Sri U K Mohanty and Nitin Nerurkar and Sri S C Wadhwaji who are always available for guidance and extending a hand of support. We would specially like to place on record our gratitude towards Sri NitinNerukar for his help and activism towards sustaining our Court Case at Mumbai High Court.
f) To my fellow office-bearers, specially to Sri Amlan and Sri B V Rao for making the AINBOA Blog a reality and a popular communicating channel.
g) To my President Sri K.Malligaraj and VP Sri D K Majumdar for effectively guiding the proceedings of AINBOA and always having faith in my restricted capabilities which I possess.
h) To all my fellow CEC members and last but far from the least in my NC which not only reposed faith in the present CEC and in me but always sagaciously guided us on all the matters.
5. As Chief Executive and Chief servant of the AINBOA I would like to accept , with all humility , the responsibility for all the failures and near failures and short comings which may have occurred in course of our activities and would also like to tender my unconditional apologies for un-knowingly hurting the sentiments of any one who may be or may be not present here. This may have happened in my zeal and passion towards discharging my duties but I take this opportunity to say that it has never been my intention to hurt a fellow human being.
I will now request the ALL India Treasurer to present the Accounts of AINBOA.
DR. D. S. CHAUHAN