6,000 officers transferred by PNB, many want to surrender promotion during COVID-19 crisis
New Delhi , July 28: Punjab National Bank (PNB), the second-largest public sector bank in the country, has transferred nearly 6,000 officers and some of them have been transferred more than 2,000 kilometres away from their present place of postings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PNB, however, said that based upon choices obtained from around 6,000 officers, the allocation of offices has been done on promotion and transfers of 3,611 officers released. ANI has accessed document which shows that around 6,000 officers have been transferred.
released transfers of only 3,611 officers out of which 2,905 are within the same state.
There have been transfers from Delhi to Agartala, Jaipur to Chennai, Delhi to Coimbatore, Rajkot to Kozhikode, which are more than 2000 kilometre away from their present place posting.
Transfers orders came last week and officers transferred at assistant manager, manager, and senior manager levels are expressing their concerns.
Transferred officers have been asked to sign an undertaking "You are advised to report at your Circle Office on promotion latest by July 29 for further posting at a point of need. I hereby undertake that the bank is having considered my circle allocation on my promotion for ....circle. I am ready to move immediately and I have no constraint in moving to the allocated circle in present circumstances."
All India Punjab National Bank Officers Association last month raised the matter with Executive Director RK Yaduvanshi saying that COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented situation leading to fear in families and "moving out of the earning member to an unknown place may be too dangerous and not sustainable and digestible for the family of the officer".
"At the time of application for promotion, there was no knowledge of COVID pandemic nor there any lockdown. Now that unforeseen circumstances arose in the period between the date of application and placement on promotion and therefore merits extending this facility," the Association said.
"The facility/right of promotion refusal has been extended to a certain section of employees and not allowing the same to all employees amounts to restrictive practices by management and not tenable under the law...We request you to intervene and allow all officers promoted to various higher scales the right to refuse promotion after allocation of circles," it said.
Ashwani Rana, Secretary of Voice of Banking, said that government is capping the expenditure on one hand and banks are spending money on inter-state transfers on the other hand.
"On average, the bank spends Rs 1 lakh on transfer/employee. The government should intervene and direct banks to stay the transfers and proceed once COVID pandemic is over," he said.
The employees also said the money will be spent in mandatory quarantine at their new place of postings.
In a written reply to ANI, PNB said that the total staff strength of the bank as on April 1, 2020, is 1.03 lakh.
"Promotions are part of the routine exercise which is conducted every year. The promotions were released on March 31, but the transfers were kept pending due to the COVID-19 scenario. The officers have submitted the choices for their allocation on promotion as per bank's approved policy," the PNB said.
"Based upon choices obtained from around 6,000 officers, the allocation of offices has been done on promotion. We have released transfers of only 3,611 officers out of which 2,905 are within the same state. The other transfers will be released gradually, in a phased manner, keeping in view COVID-19 situation and requirements of the Bank.
"Out of transfer order issued, more than 80 per cent i.e. 2,905 movements are within the same state and based upon the options given by the officers".
According to PNB, as per Board approved policy, there is no provision of refusal.
However, an officer may seek reversion from promotion within 3 months from the date of promotion, as per guidelines.
But the transferred officers say that this three-month reversion timeline has already expired as the promotion happened on April 1, 2020, and the revision rule is so tough that only emergency cases are considered as per policy.
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