All Public Sector Banks in the country have now been instructed to run a special drive from October 2 to December 31, in a bid to fill up the backlog in the recruitment to positions reserved for members of Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairperson Vijay Sampla said on Thursday.
Mr. Sampla said that after the commission had conducted a cursory review of six of the 12 PSBs in the country, it had found that the backlog in recruiting for these positions was a major issue and had shared these concerns with the Finance Ministry along with others related to the disbursement of government schemes and benefits meant for SCs.
“For the first time, a joint meeting was then held on September 27, where the Finance Minister and CMDs of the PSBs were also present along with representation from our Commission. The Minister took serious note of the concerns raised by the Commission and directed the banks to start addressing them as soon as possible,” Mr. Sampla said.
When asked which banks were reviewed and the exact extent of the backlog in recruitment, Mr. Sampla said the commission is not currently able to put an exact number to it and that part of the directions issued by the Finance Minister to the PSBs was to enumerate the extent of this backlog and clear them by end of this year.
The banks have also been asked to clear all pending grievances of SCs by October 31, as part of this special drive.
The NCSC chairperson added that the Banks have also been instructed to send a report to the Commission twice a year - on reservation policy, with regard to recruitments and coverage of SC beneficiaries in all union government schemes, and submit the progress report on them. This would entail the banks having to hold a physical presentation for the Commission every April during the birth-week of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, followed by a written report to be sent in the second fortnight of every October.
“It was found that there are a lot of cases in SC-VCF (Scheduled Caste Venture Capital Fund) where accounts have become NPA. Banks were directed to examine the backward forward linkages at the time of sanctioning of loan. Banks may take services of advisors/ consultants to help the SC entrepreneurs for project appraisal before sanctioning of loan and to ensure the proper implementation of projects”, Mr. Sampla said.
The bankers should ensure that every eligible Scheduled Caste person applying under the Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes or other such schemes gets the benefit thereof, he added.