Fair or unfair?

| Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 07, 2017

The revised charges announced by private banks, followed by industry leader SBI, has been received badly by the public. Services cannot be free. Banks have invested in technology and human resources. A decade ago, remittances in the form of demand drafts were loaded with commission, but today there are alternative channels like NEFT, RTGS, and net banking. With the establishment of grid system of clearing, operations have become seamless and instant credit received for outstation cheques, saving cost and time. With ATMs in place, cash withdrawal is 24x7. During demonetisation, banks lost business for two months. For implementation of government schemes and other social banking, banks operate with zero revenue. PSBs are public listed corporates and are answerable to stakeholders.

When a movie ticket is booked online, the service provider charges convenience fee. In tune with government policy of remonetisation, banks have formulated service charges. The cash requirement for domestic expenses does not need daily withdrawal. Banks do not charge for non-cash transactions. The apprehensions about service charges are ill-founded.

S Veeraraghavan


All SBI savings account-holders will have to keep minimum balance of ₹5,000 in their SB accounts; failure to do so will attract a penalty. Banks have already started to rob the public under the guise of making India go cashless. All this is so that bank employees will have minimum work. Is the SBI not aware that more than 85 per cent of Indians are either poor or from the lower middle class?

Hansraj Bhat


Put trains on track

This is with reference to the editorial, ‘Revving up the Railways’ (March 7). There cannot be two opinions about the intended vibrancy but sorry state of Indian Railways. Blaming foreign forces for railway accidents is ridiculous. Hygiene inside and outside trains is woeful.The commissioning of dedicated freight corridors is still on paper.

The corporatisation of IRCTC, IRCON and IRFC will generate labour issues from recruitment to retirement. There are certain essential areas like signal management, manned level-crossings and crew deployment which are already hit by manpower deficiency. The railway minister must make efforts to enhance the functional capabilities of IR in all verticals by streamlining operational expenditurerather than aspiring for capex.

B Rajasekaran


Reinvent cooperatives

The message contained in the well-researched ‘Cooperatives should reinvent themselves’ by MV Sasikumar and B Niranjan Raj Urs has come at the right time. Cooperatives have had more than their share of problems post-demonetisation. While primary cooperative banks whose functioning is similar to mini-commercial banks are regulated and supervised by the RBI, the tier structure of cooperatives have multiple regulatory and supervisory oversight involving RBI, Nabard and the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.

There are no alternative conduits to ensure banking service to clientele in semi-urban and rural areas. Cooperatives need to survive, and issues like politicisation, inadequate skills, or problems arising from the dual control of cooperatives by the Centre and States should be set aside by the judiciary, governments and cooperatives themselves for a short period. There is need for cooperation among these agencies.

Short-cuts being tried can only lead to more complications. They include bypassing DCCBs, diverting the business now being done by cooperatives to other agencies, and taking the problems to court, thus postponing decision-making. The historic reason for the present state of affairs include the straying away of Nabard constituted with the specific purpose of supporting the institutional framework responsible for agriculture and rural development from its focus on cooperatives and RRBs to greener pastures like SHGs with commercial banks’ involvement.

At this stage the Centre should empower state-level taskforces involving RBI, Nabard, banks and State governments to resolve the problems .

MG Warrier



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Published on March 07, 2017
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