The office of the lead district manager Ramesh Chandra Nayak, in Sector 31 market, earlier not known even to many bank officials, has become the most sought-after by banks and the district administration since demonetisation. The office has become a war room for the past one month as the staff have made and received more than 400 calls, exchanged around 50 emails a day, and compiled a lot of data.
A lead banker or lead district manager (LDM) is an interface between banks and the government. The LDM has to coordinate with the district administration, police, state level bankers’ committee, RBI, regional offices of banks, labour department, provident fund department, employees’ state insurance corporation, and local bank branches.
Keeping track of facts and figures related to the cash situation has become the office’s primary task now even as it coordinates with the district administration and the police to maintain law and order.
The role of LDM gained more prominence as confusion prevailed after various orders by the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding demonetisation. Some banks even refused to accept Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes because of the various circulars.
In such a situation, Nayak has arranged for fresh circulars, provided them to the bank officials, and explained their content and context to clear confusion.
“I received a call at midnight a week ago. The caller said he stood in the queue for more than five hours, but did not get cash. Such situations are beyond my control, but I attend to callers calmly and pacify them with assurances,” said Nayak, as he finished a call from a bank manager asking for the next lot of cash supply.
Since the demonetisation decision came into effect, Nayak’s mobile number has become public and people have started calling him to complain about banks not opening their accounts, cash not being dispensed, and even to report “misbehaviour by security guards at banks”.
“We have to receive data on the cash situation, compile it and send it to various agencies on a daily basis. The staff here is working for more than 12 hours,” he said. Besides Nayak, the office has two women staffers and two peons. Like many government offices, Nayak’s office too is short-staffed and he said the office needs more manpower to monitor the cash situation by visiting banks.