SBI strike exposes inadequacy of CBS | india | Hindustan Times
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SBI strike exposes inadequacy of CBS

FOR EMPLOYEES and officials posted in State Bank of India?s (SBI) 517 rural/ semi-urban branches in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the ongoing strike has provided much-needed break from the rigours of having to grapple with core-banking solution (CBS) sans adequate infrastructure.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 13:56 IST

FOR EMPLOYEES and officials posted in State Bank of India’s (SBI) 517 rural/ semi-urban branches in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the ongoing strike has provided much-needed break from the rigours of having to grapple with core-banking solution (CBS) sans adequate infrastructure.

“Thank you, Comrade for the strike. This has given us time to relax,” beamed a rural branch manager as he greeted a union leader. He is one of hundreds of branch managers and other employees who won’t mind salary deduction and other losses for the strike period because this has afforded them time to relax.

“Due to lack of manpower, I failed to attend to my ailing mother at home, as leave was not sanctioned,” complained a manager of a CBS-linked rural branch. For employees of such branches, there is no Sunday or a holiday. “Due to poor power supply and connectivity problem, we even have to work at 2.30 am, as and when we get both these facilities,” grumbled another employee, requesting anonymity.

Disbursing salaries and pensions in these CBS branches is another problem, as staff members have to work overtime. “Lack of proper facilities has rendered the CBS system as an impediment in smooth functioning,” is a general complain.

The SBI unions blame it on higher SBI management’s apathy. While rural branch mandarins have their own reason to rejoice the strike, the common man is flustered as it entered fourth day without any solution in sight. 

“Majority of Indians don’t have roti, kapda and makaan whereas the lucky few in SBI even after their fat salaries want to grab more by using strike as an instrument,” alleged KM Francis, a citizen.

“Whether it’s a rural branch or Bhopal’s TT Nagar – they are all birds of same feather,” decried a woman customer, who had submitted a cheque at TT Nagar branch for clearing 10 days ahead of the strike. Her amount was not yet debited.

Similarly, Anjan Shrivastava in spite of standing long hours in a serpentine queue in an SBI branch, failed to submit his PPF. Officials blame the delay on poor networking and shortage of staff.

State Bank of India Workman Union’s general secretary Pramod Naramdeo partially agrees with the common man’s allegation that SBI employees go on strike for their own benefits. “It’s true the strike has been called to press our long-pending demand on pension revision. But, we gave a strike call against CBS problems and our management has assured that no branches would further be networked unless the existing ones improve,” he clarified.

The unions have also taken up the issue of making fresh appointments to combat manpower shortage problem.