A LARGE number of general manager (GMs) and deputy general managers (DGMs) will soon be taking retirement in state-owned banks and keeping this in view the finance ministry has asked public sector lenders to consider promoting lower rung employees on merit to fill manpower shortage.
In a meeting with the heads...of the state-run banks and the Indian Banks Association (IBA), Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia asked public sector banks to promote Scale-II and III staff from within them.
"The banks can fill the shortage of manpower at higher levels - of DGMs and GMs - due to the likely mass retirement in near future by promoting officers from Scale-II and III on merit," Adhia said in a letter to PSU bank managements.
Earlier in January, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had raised the issue of shortage of officers at the senior levels in public sector banks during the bankers retreat in Pune.
The ministry has been making efforts to come out with viable solutions to address the manpower issue at PSU banks.
State Bank of India (SBI) said it is looking at the idea as an option to face the ongoing mass retirement within the bank.
"The idea is still at a planning stage at SBI. In fact, this is something we have never tried. We have to promote people from the lower rung, as we cannot hire from outside," SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya told a news agency.
Public sector banks have not carried out HR planning at senior level and, hence, they will have to suffer this problem for next 2-3 years, said a retired banker.
Banks have not recruited officers for the past 8-10 years which has resulted in this precarious situation, he added.
According to IBA data, there were 3,04,090 officials ranging between Scale I and Scale VII in PSU banks as of March 2012. This included 1,731 DGMs and 549 GMs.
But the IBA could not share the number of retirements that is facing the industry.
In fact almost all PSU banks are holding interviews for promotion of officials.Around 1,170 AGMs have been called for the interviews in SBI against available vacancies of 80, whereas 170 DGMs are being interviewed against 40 GM posts.