COVID-19 : PSU Banks incentivise staff as DBT grows


With increased volume of direct benefit transfers, public sector lenders including State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India are going the extra mile to incentivise their staff, especially in remote branches.

Some of these incentives include daily monetary allowance, an additional day’s pay for every six days of work, insurance cover and a cut in the interest rate levied on the loans they have taken.


The country’s largest lender, SBI, has reduced the interest rate on all staff loans (housing, education, vehicle, computer and personal) by 1%. The extra day’s salary will be paid to frontline staff until the nationwide lockdown ends. The bank reimburses expenses incurred by employees on Covid-19 tests. If anyone tested positive, the bank will bear the treatment expenses. In the event of the death of any permanent employee due to Covid-19, a cash compensation of Rs 20 lakh will be paid to the family.

“Taking care of the inputs is crucial for output, similarly taking care of our staff members is crucial for service delivery,” said Alok Kumar Choudhary, the deputy managing director for human resources and corporate development officer at SBI. The bank has 2.56 lakh employees.

Bank of Baroda has exempted all employees above 55 years of age or with an underlying medical condition from coming to office, irrespective of the nature of his or her function. The bank will also reimburse the cost of Covid-19 tests for employees and their family members, said Joydeep Dutta Roy, the head of strategic HR and HR integration at Bank of Baroda.

Officials at state-run banks said there was an increase in the volume of direct benefit transfers from the government to the Jan-Dhan accounts of women and farmers’ accounts. This is leading to the need to step up work in rural areas, thus prompting banks to incentivise both staff at the rural branches as well as business correspondents — mostly the local kirana stores, shops, retail stores, and other merchants.

“There is an increase in monetary transaction from normal to a little more than that and more people are coming for cash transaction,” Bank of India executive director CG Chaitanya said.

SBI has about 60,000 customer service points serviced by business correspondents who are being incentivised so that customers in rural and remote areas get proper service.

Anand Kumar Bajaj, the managing director of PayNearby and a board member of the Business Correspondent Federation of India, said the federation had written to state-run banks to give extra incentives to business correspondents, and some of them such as Punjab National Bank had agreed to the demand.

Via – Economic Times


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