The decision came at a meeting convened by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with 12 public sector banks on Tuesday. The directives followed an extensive review of 6 public sector banks conducted by National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). The review report was shared by NCSC chairman Vijay Sampla with the finance minister. “We found that there were a number of vacancies in the banks pertaining to Scheduled Castes that needed to be filled. Apart from this, we found that several schemes, introduced by the Union government for SC welfare, have not been implemented efficiently by the banks.”
The public sector banks have been directed to first gauge the number of vacancies for SCs in their banks and report to finance ministry by October 31 and simultaneously initiate a special drive starting October 2 to fill these vacancies by December 31. “The bank branches will complete the targets assigned to them, especially the obligations towards the members of the SC community, as per the Stand Up India programme of the union government. Similarly, with regard to other union government schemes like NRLM, NULM, Mudra, Swabhiman and Awas Yojana, banks should set a target to achieve the percentage earmarked for SC beneficiaries,” said Sampla.
The banks have also been directed to give minimum wages to all outsourced employees and submit the report regarding this to department of financial services and NCSC. “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,” Sampla said.