Friday, May 04, 2012

Ministry of Finance issues Fresh Guidelines for Promotion and Transfers in Banks, At least better

Copy of guidelines is given below but after my views on the same ( go below to read contents of government guidelines issued on promotion and transfer taking place in public sector banks. I am happy that at least now government has become conscious and taking steps in gradual manner to improve the situation .

Officers, especially top bankers who advocate merit and talk of fast track promotion to give chance to juniors are now building pressure on Ministry of Finance to reduce eligibility marks from 75% to 60%. It is bitter truth that merit of an officer cannot be judged by marks given to him by his assessor. Same officer gets 60 marks in Annual appraisal report from one boss and 95 from another boss; same officer gets 70 marks in one region and 98 marks IN OTHER REGION. Awarding of marks mostly depends on perception and conception of the assessing officer.

If the assessing officer is prejudiced,  or believer in WWW (wine, wealth and woman) he or she can spoil the future of any officer by giving very poor marks and there is no way to protest such unethical and evil acts. In some states there is a tradition of awarding above 90 marks to all officers in annual appraisal report (AAR) whereas in some other state there is a practice of awarding in the range of 70 to 80. People will believe me or not God knows, but it is also a undeniable truth that at the time of promotion process Regional Head used to submit purely a false, concocted, fabricated, and fraudulent chart of marks to Central authorities as also to members of interview panels appointed for promotion process for officers who used to be candidate for promotion and this chart of marks were entirely different from the actual AAR. Such false game may be proved only by a through CBI investigation into the record of past two or three decades.

There is therefore no merit in denying opportunity to any officer based on marks. I can rather mention here that no officer should have got marks below 70 or 75, and if someone has been given marks from 60 to 70 , it means assessor does not have mind to properly assess the juniors or  the junior is not at all fit for bank job and he must have been recruited through illegal means, say by payment of bribe to recruiters. In such cases performance assessing authority, reviewing authority and the officer who is being assessed and given marks below 70 must be removed from bank or given VRS.Normally a student obtaining 60 marks in education life used to be treated as intelligent. But in banks there is a practice of awarding 90 and above to almost all officers and hence the role of interview in final selection becomes more dominant and effective.

On the contrary I am of the opinion that there should not be any interview system. After all, in interview, members of the panel pick officers as per his whims and fancies, there is no value of experience, no value of marks in appraisal and nothing is important as is important the recommendation of regional head or some key officers. In such position it is foolish to spend crores of rupees on conducting interview and paying Travelling bill to candidate appearing in promotion processes.

Let the top officers decide at their own level and select officers for promotion on the basis of seniority and if they feel that any officer is incompetent or is not interested to accept promotion on the ground of sickness, they should make a record of it. If officer continue to be non performer for say five years he may be forced to or offered retirement. Why after all bank will bear the burden of non performers.

It is arbitrary decision in promotion processes that officers have lost in the promotion processes and therefore many good officers have decided not to attend / participate in such processes. It is only bank which is suffering loss due to non participation of meritorious and talented guys. Most of good officers preferred voluntary retirement only because of Worst HRD policies and corrupt execution of these policies. There is no system of immediate justice to those who are willfully and with malicious intention rejected by interview panel. No appeal and no relief by courts even in two decades.

It is worthwhile to mention here that if a person joined as officer in seventies or eighties, he got first opportunity for promotion after 10 to 12 years and further for second promotion after 8 to 10 years . It means a good officer could become scale III in a span of 20 to 25 years. Now management directly appoints officer in scale III and makes him in scale IV in 3 to 5 years neglecting the old batch who devoted served the bank for two to three decades. Similar situation occurs when officers are directly recruited in scale II or III or IV and V and so on.

In seventies and eighties officers joining in banks used to be treated as equal or super to IAS and IPS officers and now after three decades officers joining in banks is treated as worse than a clerk or a peon in central government. Role of WWW has become more dominant than the knowledge and skill to work. I would rather say that future of banks under public sector has been spoilt by dirty officers whose intention is malicious and who served the bank only for his personal interest. Another startling truth is that a person joining in banks as officer do not continue in the job more than 5 years. Attrition rate in banks is more than any other sector.

Sickness in banks is growing, volume of NPA is increasing and attrition rate in banks is increasing year after due to
a.      A.   Misuse of power in lending, contractual work, recruitment, promotion, transfer etc.
b.       B. Abuse of best HRD policies to serve self interest
c.    C.    Ineffective judiciary due to which injustice is allowed to perpetuate
d.     D.  Senior intelligent and hard workers are constrained to work under junior, less talented and non-serious workers only because flattery and bribery played key role at all level in all activities.

Bank management should stop making lame excuses that seniors are not available or senior are not interested for promotion or junior are more talented. It is the vested interest of top few officials that they pick officers in higher scale from market and deprive the promotion chances of decades old officers available in their bank. It is ridiculous to listen that adequate number of good officers are not available in any bank or in any industry for promotion. It is totally mismanagement that such a situation has arisen even if it is assumed that such situation exists. Bitter truth is that all policies are framed in good way but executed in bad way. It is only the whims of members of interview panel which matters much because by giving 25 out of 25 these members can pull an inefficient person from bottom to top. If an officer has to be rejected , interview panel will give only 2 or 3 marks in interview which will nullify the effect of higher marks he or she got in annual appraisals.

It is absolutely unconstitutional to recruit directly from market an officer in higher scale when adequate numbers of experienced officers are present in the bank and who are waiting for promotion for decades as per old policies. Every year they change the policy to suit their mind and to deny someone and award some other. Banks can prosper in the hands of well experienced officers and not young MBA or highly qualified officers who do not have adequate exposure in bank. Volume of NPA is increasing in banks because young team of officers sitting at top and higher  posts whereas  senior and talented team of officers are subordinate to them . Offices who are boss know less than those who are working under them because of flattery culture n promotion process. Where no alternative ways is visible to ensure absolute justice it is better desirable to have totally seniority based promotion which will at least minimize misuse or abuse of HRD policies by whimsical top officials.

Fresh Guideline to Banks on Promotion And Transfer by Ministry of Finance

Promotion policy in PSBs. - New guidelines issued by GOI 

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Financial Services
Jeevan Deep, IIIrd Floor,
Parliament Street, New Delhi
Dated the May 3, 2012

CEOs of all Public Sector Banks.

Subject: Promotion policy in PSBs.


I am directed to refer to this Department’s letter of even number dated 14.3.2012 issued in suppression of earlier

 guidelines dated 5.12.2011 on the above subject and to say that several references received PSBs seeking 

relaxations/clarifications in the guidelines have been examined in this Department.

2. In view of the difficulties being experienced by PSBs regarding non- availability of the requisite number of 

officers in zone for consideration ,due to different profile of officers in Banks, APAR marks, cut-off date, etc, it has 

been decided that the following relaxations could be allowed by the Bank, as one time measure, for the 

promotion process for the year 2012-13:-

(i) The Zone of considerations for promotion should be generally 3 times the number of anticipated vacancies. 

However, incase these many officers are not available; the zone of consideration shall be atleast two times the 

number of likely vacancies. For this purpose, the Board of Directors of the Bank may further relax minimum 

eligibility in length of service by upto six months over and above one year already provided in the guidelines dated

 14.3.2012. The relaxation beyond one year in eligibility shall be granted only to the extent that officers at two 

times the number of vacancies become eligible.

(ii) Vacant positions must be filled subject to the suitability of officers within the zone of consideration as per the


(iii) All officers who are eligible on the cut-off date of experience requirement would be included in the zone of 


(iv) The officers against whom disciplinary proceedings are in process would be considered in addition to the 

requirement of zone of consideration as mentioned at (i) above and the recommendations in respect of such 

officers shall be kept in sealed cover.

(v) The requirement of minimum 75% marks in APAR in each of the year under consideration would be relaxed to 

the extent of 60% marks APAR in each year for only those scales where passing of an examination by IBPS is

mandatory for promotion.

(vi) The condition of not granting the benefit of relaxation in minimum experience at two successive levels of 

promotions in Scale-III and above, as prescribed at para 5(iv) of the guidelines dated 14.3.2012 stands 


2. The provisions regarding reservations/concessions, etc, in respect of promotion of SC/ST employees and any 

other category of employees be followed as per the extant Guidelines in the matter.

3. All Banks are requested to obtain the approval of the Board of Directors for the above at the next meeting and 

to take action accordingly.

4. This issues with the approval of Secretary, DFS.

Yours faithfully,

(Manish Kumar)
Under Secretary to the Government of India

Copy to:-
1. All Govt. Nominee Directors.

2. NIC Cell for placing on the website

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Financial Services
Jeevan Deep, IIIrd Floor,
Parliament Street, New Delhi
Dated the May 3, 2012

CEOs of all Public Sector Banks.

Subject: Timelines for Promotions/Transfers in PSBs.


I am directed to refer to this Department’s letter No.9/1/2012 dated 27.3.2012 and letter of
 even number dated 13.4.2012 on the above subject wherein it is advised that all the PSBs 
must complete the promotion process for the vacancies upto March, 2013 before 
30.06.2012. Taking into consideration the academic session and other relevant factors, it 
has been decided that the process of regular transfer of officers is also completed at the 
beginning of the year so that the staff is not put to undue inconvenience.

2. In view of the above, the Public Sector Banks are advised for compliance as follows with reference to the Promotions and Transfers:

1) The process for promotion for the vacancies during the year must be completed before June of that year.

2) All transfer orders should be issued by June every year. However, transfer on promotion can be done after June as and when these become due.

3) Any transfer of officers after June, even on administrative exigencies, except on promotion, would require prior approval of the Board of Directors.

4) For promotion during the year APAR upto the previous year must be taken into account. The banks must put in place a system in which APARs are completed in time and are available for the process of promotion.

5) In case exams are to be conducted for promotion at any level, the same should also be held in time so that the promotion process got completed in time.

2. All Banks are requested to obtain the approval of the Board of Directors for the above at the next meeting and to take action accordingly.

3. This issues with the approval of Secretary (FS), DFS.

Yours faithfully,

(Manish Kumar)

Under Secretary to the Government of India

Copy to:-
1. All Govt. Nominee Directors.


Danendra said...

May I ask few questions related to promotion processes in public sector banks

1.Why bank management did not follow the dictates given by Ministry of Finance on Annual Performance Assessment Report in light of Supreme court verdict ?

2. What steps MOF or RBI use to take to ensure perfect execution of policies or government guidelines related to recruitment, transfers and promotions and what punitive actions are taken against top officials who willfully or fraudulently violates the policy /guidelines to favour persons of their choice?

3. Do the MOF and RBI take it for granted that human being sitted on top posts are always honest and unbiased?

4. It is observed that bank management of some bank has started Computer skill test for promotion of an officer from scale III to IV and scale IV to V. May I ask the concerned authorities why computer skill test is essential only for promotion of officers from III to IV and then IV to V and why the same is not needed for promotion of officers from scale I to II and scale II to III and then from scale V to VI and VI to VII ?

5. As per MOF guidelines an officers desirous for promotion from one scale to another has to obtain 75% marks in all three preceding years. Some banks has relaxed APAR marks from 75 to 60 in case of promotion from scale I to II and then II to III but not relaxed in higher promotions from scale III to IV and onward?

As a matter of fact marking in APAR itself does not speak of real worth of the officer because the assessing officer is more often than not , does not have skill to mark and further different set of officers award marks as per his mindset and not as per the real quality of the officer. If assessing officers and reviewing officers are casual which is a bitter truth ,in awarding marks on APAR , the future of an officer does not depend on how he or she perform but how he or she get marks in APAR.

However it is important to know why relaxation in marks is allowed for junior scale and not for senior scale?

Officers who are in junior management are required to perform for the satisfaction of the customers safeguarding banks profitability and overall future of the bank. If junior officers are casual, incompetent, inefficient and corrupt, they may indulge in bribe based lending, they may commit fraud, they may not be cordial while dealing with customers and their lack of knowledge and experience on banking may cause huge loss to bank because the real quality and quantity of business of any branch of any bank of bank mostly depends on quality of field functionaries and not at all on executive who dictates rules and policies as per their whims and fancies.

Why the same relaxation in marks has not been given to executives appearing for promotion from III to IV and onwards?

Why discrimination is allowed?

Is such discrimination in any office legally valid and sustainable?

If not, why MOF and RBI are silent?

Danendra said...

6. Future of any Bank, quality of assets and quality of customer service of any bank depends on quality of workforce and experience of employees and not that much on educational qualification of the officers.

Unfortunately management of some banks have started giving promotion to officer who has not acquired even minimum experience of banking. In the past ,a bank employee had to work for at least three years as clerk to become eligible for promotion to officer cadre and then minimum 7 years of service to become eligible for promotion from scale I to II.

In fact officers used to get first opportunity to appear in promotion from scale I to II in a span of 10 to 15 years and then for promotion from scale II to III in a span of 5 to 10 years. Nowadays banks have started promoting young officers in 2 to 3 years on some plea or the other from scale I to II and similarly from II to III and onwards whereas officers with experience of two to three decades are rejected in promotion processes.

I am unable to understand what quality of an officer is assessed in 2 to 3 minutes of interview when the same set of top executives failed to assess quality and potential of the same officers through 20 to 30 APARs or through hundreds of meetings with the same officers and hundreds of branch visits.

As a result an officer who does not have adequate exposure in banking become Scale IV , V or scale VI in a span of 10 to 15 years. The only quality he should possess is to keep the boss happy and have the ability to deliver good speech like politicians of the country.

I am unable to understand why banks have fixed zone of consideration for promotion process as four times of identified vacancies and why none it is one.

Anyway , even if it is assumed that zone of consideration is rightly fixed, I am unable to understand why bank management whimsically reduce the same from four time to three times or three to two times to accommodate a few officers of their choice?

Bank use to talk of merit and experience , but they do not hesitate to reduce minimum job length from 5 years to two years for promotion of officers from scale III to IV and reduce from 7 to 2 for promotion from scale I to II or II to III.

After all why seniors do not like to take part in promotion processes and why bank is constrained to consider even officers of negligible experience for promotion to higher scale which ultimately result in rise in bad assets and fraud?
If experienced officers are not available , will bank promote make a junior officer as General Manager .

Why do the bank need young officers ?
Are officers in bank promoted to fight on borders ?
Why experience of bank officer is not rewarded judiciously?

Danendra said...

And this is why quality of asset in bank has been continuously moving from bad to worse .Seniors are sidelined and juniors are elevated to top post. This has created frustration in seniors and experienced officers who are constrained to work under juniors and less intelligent officers.

It is unfortunate or fortunate that top officers who are part of bank management are clever in convincing MOF and RBI for all violation of policies and it is they who amend promotion policy almost every year to accommodate officers of their choice. Vacancies are identified for promotion of officer from scale VI to VII in the month of April and May and accordingly a few officers are promoted from scale VI to VII in May. Again to promote officers of their choice, they carry out promotion process again in June on the plea that number of vacancies are likely to rise. They need 10 officers for higher scale but make a panel of 40 officers --why?

Is there anyone to verify the logic of top officers why do they need to conduct promotion process twice or thrice in a year and why panel is so long?

Why some banks are calling all officers for promotion test and why some others give option to officers to apply for promotion?

Are banks ready to promote bad officers only because good officers do not like promotion and do not apply for promotion or when good officers knowingly do not apply for promotion because they do not have Godfather to push their case of promotion?

Is MOF and RBI ready to jeopardize the future of banks, future of investors and future of good performers by giving higher responsibility to junior who do not have developed adequate skill in banking?

Will anyone tell the common men why cases of fraud and volume of Non Performing Assets have been rising year after year when it is said by top management of every bank that they have been promoting good officers through merit and fast channel for last twenty years?

Is it not true that health of banks in public sector was at least better in seventies and sixties when promotion of bank employees sued to take place based strictly on seniority? It was only in scale I that banks were empowered to recruit officer from market to the extent of 25% of total vacancies in officer cadre. During that period there was no question of recruitment of officers in higher scales directly from campus. In the past Banks used to give value to experience but now these banks give value to flattery and bribery.
Why not then quality will deteriorate is a million dollar question?

Policy and guideline related to rural posting is as old as 20 years .Still there are hundreds of officers in scale II to scale VII who have not seen rural posting during their entire service tenure. On the contrary there are thousands of officers who are always thrown in rural areas or North east. Such type of violation and discrimination with government guidelines has resulted in sickness of bank and there is no doubt that HR policies in banks require paradigm shift.

I hope MOF is slowly moving in this direction.