Allahabad Bank to clear government bills
IN A move that is likely to dent the image of the State Bank of India (SBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday authorised the Allahabad Bank to make payments for all government bills till the strike period.india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 01:19 IST
IN A move that is likely to dent the image of the State Bank of India (SBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday authorised the Allahabad Bank to make payments for all government bills till the strike period.
In a communiqué to all district magistrates, principle secretary (finance), Shekhar Agarwal said the regional Reserve Bank of India office at Kanpur had authorised the Allahabad Bank in financial matters related to the State Government including payment of its bill. The old order, however, would be restored the moment the SBI strike was over.
Apart from bailing out the State Government from the financial crunch, the RBI move will also come as a big relief for lakhs of government employees and pensioners, who were unable to draw their wages because of the strike.
“Disbursement in districts where Allahabad Bank does not have an office would be done at the nearest branch of the bank,” said Om Narain, director State Treasuries. Kushinagar, Baghpat, Sant Ravi Das Nagar and Kaushambi and are four such districts, whose DMs and DDOs have been informed accordingly, he said adding that Meerut had already taken a lead in the matter by conducting financial dealings with Allahabad Bank.
Here it is pertinent to mention that with the exception of Allahabad, all financial dealings of the State Government are done through the State Bank of India.
“This is the trend all over the country and in fact, SBI thrives on the business it gets from State Governments,” quipped Narain. “And it was this monopoly, which the State Bank of India was using to its advantage in the strike till we decided to call their bluff,” he said.