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RBI freezes hiring at city office

Centralisation of work a major reason
The Reserve Bank of India's Calcutta office

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 24.01.20, 07:40 PM

The regional office of the Reserve Bank of India in Calcutta could end 2020 with a staff strength of only 800 on the back of natural attrition and lack of fresh hiring.

The Netaji Subhas Road office of the RBI used to a busy place in the early 1990s with over 4000 employees. A proposed second office of the Reserve Bank of India in Bengal has also been shelved.

According to employees in Calcutta, the RBI had started the recruitment process since 2012 but the share of declared vacancies for the regional office has been going down every year. RBI executives said the centralisation of work, particularly relating to onsite supervision and regulation, is a major reason behind the situation. Moreover, several key operations such as foreign exchange management has been centralised.

But according to the employees, ground level supervision has been severely affected with the increase in number of banking frauds.

“From 2013 onwards a bias was clearly perceptible against the Calcutta office. In the last round of recruitment, the central office allotted only 11 posts for Calcutta out of a total vacancy of 926, just around 1 per cent. This affects employment opportunity in the state. In the same list, Mumbai had 419 posts, while Calcutta was the lowest, even less than the smallest centre at Jammu at 13,” said Samir Ghosh, general secretary of the All India Reserve Bank of India Employees Association.

The association has written to the RBI governor and to chief minister Mamata Banerjee highlighting the issue.

“We have organised protests and dharnas and we hope the matter is taken up at the highest level. Otherwise the regional office will keep on losing its relevance,” Ghosh said.

A second office of the RBI in Bengal was initially mooted in the early 1980s and subsequently around 18 acres of land was identified at Durgapur. The project was axed last November.

RBI employees said the regulator has more than one regional office in locations such as Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. But the decision to shelve expansion in Bengal is an indication of the apex bank according a lower priority to the region, they said.


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