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CVC limits purview to bank AGM level

Our Bureau

Mumbai , April 7

THE Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has decided to drop from its purview employees of public sector banks holding the designation of Chief Manager and below.

From now on, these employees will be answerable to the local `Central Vigilance Officer' of their bank as far as their `actions' are concerned, according to the revised guidelines of the CVC.

In response to a representation made by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA), the CVC and the Banking Division of the Finance Ministry have decided to limit the CVC's jurisdiction to officers of Scale V and above in public sector banks, i.e., to personnel above the category of Assistant General Manager (AGM).

"The CVC will thus move away from micro-management to off-site surveillance through periodical vigilance audits," said an IBA release.

With this, the number of officers coming directly under the purview of CVC will come down from over 43,500 to about 4,500, it added.

The revised guidelines will greatly facilitate improving the functioning of public sector banks at all levels and would take away the fear psychosis that had permeated the minds of officers below Scale III in activities such as lending operations, the release said, quoting Mr V. Leeladhar, Chairman, IBA.

With greater responsibilities cast on public sector banks, they will have to ensure that their own internal vigilance machinery is appropriately strengthened to meet the CVC's expectations, he added.

"The problem was that a number of managers and Chief Managers have been hauled up by the CVC with respect to advances that may have gone bad," said a senior official with a leading public sector bank.

"Their integrity was questioned and therefore, at lower levels, decision-making was being impeded by fear of being pulled up by the CVC for an error in judgment."

The CVC, on its part, has been overloaded with cases to investigate.

This decision to discard officers below scale V from its purview will help in expediting the resolution of pending cases, he added.

According to the IBA release, the entire gamut of vigilance management has been reviewed by the authorities and far-reaching changes made in the powers and functions of the CVC in relation to public sector banks.

The revised guidelines will cover definitional, jurisdictional and operational changes envisaged in Vigilance Management in public sector banks.

The guidelines will be issued shortly.

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