Nabard staff serves ultimatum on wage accord, threatens strike 

Employees and officers of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) have warned that any attempt to deny their legitimate rights and facilities endorsed by an MoU signed on February 18 between All-India Nabard Employees Association (AINBEA) and the management and subsequently passed by the Nabard Board, would be totally illegal and against employees’ interests.

The AINBEA has demanded, among other things, immediate implementation of the wage agreement in Nabard ( 2017-2022) and strengthening and protection of its development finance institution character, Rana Mitra, General Secretary, AINBEA, told BusinessLine.

Avoidable impasse

“Any attempt to deny our rights may lead to prolonged agitation including strike, that may have serious portents for financing agriculture and rural development at this crucial hour. Employees and officers want to avoid this risk and seek everyone’s cooperation to resolve an avoidable impasse and deteriorating industrial relations in the institution,” Mitra added.

Employees and officers have vowed to carry out organisational programmes such as demonstrations on June 30; mass deputation on July 7; and march to Parliament on July 26 and 27. “We hope all concerned including the management of Nabard and the Department of Financial Services, Government of India, will initiate every step to operationalise our wage agreement as precious time is running out,” Mitra added.

Issues are intertwined

Since Nabard works closely in the food/agriculture sector, the problem of the institution is deeply interconnected with those of the agri sector. Both Indian agriculture and banking are in the throes of a crisis; Nabard also cannot be expected to be crisis-free either. There are problems of concessional finance for Nabard which it used to get before from the Reserve Bank and the Centre.

Unfortunately, there are attempts to shift the direction of Nabard refinance to private sector banks and NBFCs to basically finance corporates in the name of agriculture, Mitra alleged. The AINBEA not only fights for its own rights such as immediate wage revision, but is also concerned about the shift in Nabard refinance policy moving away from the small, marginal, poor farmers.

Forms ‘social welfare’ trust

The AINBEA has formed a trust, named as ‘AINBEA For Social Welfare’ to stand with the families of farmers who committed suicide. On July 5, the AINBEA will redeem its pledge of standing beside such families by organising a seminar titled, ‘Current agrarian crisis and the role of Nabard.’ It will hand over some contribution from the trust to three such hapless farm families from Vidharbha, Maharashtra.


Published on

June 24, 2022

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