Strike call on 16 December 2022
All India NABARD Officers’ Association (AINBOA) has given a full day strike call on 16 December 2022 in protest against the anomalies in the wage revision created by an order issued by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, Government of India. They have now been joined by the retired staff in support for the cause since the wage revision holds implications for the future.
The officers of NABARD had been on agitation ever since the DFS order was issued on 14 September 2022 followed by the Administrative Circular on 21 September 2022 to implement the order. After many representations, and rounds of dialogues with the officials of DFS over last two months (as there is no regular Chairman in NABARD at present and an Additional Secretary of DFS is in interim charge since August 01, 2022), they are left with no other choice but to go on strike which will be followed by a march to Parliament and hunger strike. First, the order introduced dual and differentiated pay for the same cadre of officers
- higher for those who had come from Reserve Bank of India at the formation of
NABARD in 1982 and lower for those directly recruited by NABARD. One of the
allowances reduced is Grade Allowance which is paid as per the grade of an officer. However, according to the DFS order, officers in lower grades are drawing higher grade allowance than officers in higher grade thereby making a mockery of the nomenclature “grade”.
This is in contravention to ‘equal pay for equal work’ in the same organization,
settled in 1986 in NABARD.
- It is pertinent to mention here that both the categories of officers – those who had come from Reserve Bank of India in 1982 and those recruited by NABARD – had been getting the same pay and allowances over last 35 years through seven settlements.
The reduction of allowances for officers recruited by NABARD is so drastic that it has reduced their gross emoluments by 10% to 12% with huge impact on superannuation benefits including pension. Interestingly, DFS failed to do simple maths by not taking into account the Dearness Allowance and, as
such, the net impact of the Grade Allowance when adjusted with Dearness Allowance in pre-revised and post-revised scales is negative.
The order has also reduced another allowance as approved by the Board of Directors and has equated it with that of the officers of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), entities supervised by NABARD under Banking Regulations Act, 1949.
The financial loss and the humiliation have infuriated the officers’ community of NABARD leading to this present agitation and strike call.
Wage Revision in NABARD
Wage revision in the banking industry happens every five years. So, in NABARD.
● The present settlement in NABARD was the 8th settlement since its formation in 1982.
● All previous seven settlements over last forty years have been on the lines of that of Reserve Bank of India for the historic and organic link between both the institutions.
● The proposal for wage revision for the present period 2017-22 was sent to the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Government of India after detailed negotiations with the associations and approval by the Board of Directors of NABARD in March 2022
● Provision since 2017-18 was made by NABARD which accumulated to Rs. 880 crore, sufficient to take care of the entire expenditure on account of arrear of pay, allowances, superannuation benefits, etc. that was estimated to cost Rs. 680 crore.
● With the validity of the 2017-22 period till 31 October 2022 and the next revision being due from 01 November 2022, the associations in NABARD went on agitation to demand an early
● Based on requests from DFS, the associations had called off a march to Parliament in July 2022 (during monsoon session) and deferred a strike call given for 30 August 2022.
● DFS finally cleared the wage revision after approval of the Hon’ble Finance Minister on 14
September 2022, with glaring anomalies as mentioned above.