This has reference to the letter “Long bank holidays bad news for the economy” (March 23). I agree that the long bank holidays will definitely affect normal banking services all over the country but being a bank employee, I would like to say that bank employees have also something to cheer on alternate weekends and public holidays that has been declared under Govt. Gazette. Even bank employees have things to do other than serving customers six days a week. They render better customer service despite an acute shortage of staff. 80 per cent officers are posted away from their home, risky nature of the job and below par salary compared to Government jobs. Bankers are neither overpaid nor have the stability of a home base to ensure that their children receive continuous education. The responsibility of officers, in particular, is very high and most of them work even on holidays and Sundays. There are incidents that even during the strike, many officers work behind closed doors to ensure that pending work is completed because banks are crowded on the days following the strike. I would also like to point out that when a lot of banks in the U.S. and other western countries had collapsed due to recession, our Indian banks have never been affected by such calamity. It must also be remembered that bank staff during strike are foregoing their pay.
Compared to the corporate sector, bankers are paid peanuts and the risk associated with their daily functioning is enormous.
Inspite of all this, bankers have to suffer from lot of work pressure and they do not have much time to spend on social life. To take care of the customers, banks have installed huge number of ATMs which is more than their No. of branches as per the rule of RBI. During holiday, banks ensure that ATMs remain operational during these days so that people don’t have to face cash shortage.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)