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RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan to meet employees on recast plan

Saturday, 16 August 2014 - 6:50am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Meeting with employee unions on Tuesday is to get a consensus on proposed restructuring plan; unions opposed to move, say lateral hires will affect promotions

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan, and deputy governors S S Mundra and R Gandhi will address the employees of the central bank on Tuesday (August 19) to discuss and get a consensus on their restructuring plan amid growing opposition from various quarters.

The unions are strongly opposing the restructuring plans as it involves lateral hires and setting up a post of chief operating officer (COO) who may assume powers of a deputy governor.

A member of the RBI officers' association told dna, "We strongly oppose plans of an organisation revamp as it will hamper promotions, and one more officer almost in the rank of deputy governor will reduce the representation of RBI officers among the deputy governors. This is the first time there is so much of discontent within the organisation. We will not compromise on our stand of allowing outsiders to enter the rank and file of RBI."

RBI has four unions including officers and workmen with a membership of 17,000 employees. All the four unions come under the United Forum of RBI Officers and Employees. The executive directors, deputy governors and the RBI governor are not members of any of the unions.

Rajan is going to face a tough battle with unions, and the ministry, which, according to the unions, does not agree with the entire process.

If indeed Rajan is able to bring about the organisational changes, RBI may able to induct professionals like Nachiket Mor who can help the central bank in its financial inclusion plan. Mor was a senior banker with ICICI Bank before leaving the lender to work in the social sector.

The unions also allege that lateral hire to the post of chief general manager is also being contemplated, and it will hamper the promotions of the existing staff.

"The name of Prachi Mishra, a senior economist with the IMF who was also in the team of Raghuram Rajan when he was the chief economist, government of India before coming to RBI, is also doing the rounds," said a union member who did not wished to be quoted.

RBI restructuring proposals also include grouping of departments so that there is no overlap in functions. There will be no job loss, but the unions are opposing the move as their promotions may be impacted.

RBI had sent out a press release on Friday evening saying the proposals were discussed in its board meeting. "The board approved the broad contours of the proposals. It advised the central bank to operationalise the restructuring, while taking into account the need to continuously keep communication channels open with stakeholders as the process moves forward," the statement said.

It said that the board also asked the RBI to initiate a dialogue with the government on the additional post of deputy governor and the legislative changes that will be needed. "The Reserve Bank will proceed further in the matter keeping such advice in view," said the statement.

Asked about RBI's proposal on a COO, financial services secretary G S Sandhu who is also in the RBI board was quoted in New Delhi saying, "RBI is reorganising internally. After that, if they think there is a requirement of a COO, they will send the proposal and the finance ministry will take a view," he said.

RBI, however, said in its release on Friday that the proposals are widely discussed at various levels in the central bank. One of the proposals envisaged the creation of an additional position of a chief operating officer of the rank of deputy governor to head one of the five functional clusters.

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