One of the issues where all bankers in India agree in absolute unity is 5 day banking.
-A common banker
There is no doubt that banking today has become one of the most tiresome jobs, with incessant expectation and meager” rewards”- rewards being the operative word here . While many other government jobs promise a much better and secured career, banking on the other hand is becoming a pool of all government schemes and various financial and non-financial products. It is in this context that bankers, all across the country, have been pushing for the introduction of 5-days banking in India. But is this actually possible?
First, let us see why do bankers want 5-days banking. The answer seems to be quite simple:
- Too much work, and no adequate pay;
- Many of the government departments are also working 5 days a week.
Thinking about the issue from a third-person’s view, the argument against having 5-days banking comes as under:
1. Banking is the lifeline of the economy. Each banking day implies several crores worth of fund flows.
Stating the significance of Banking for the country would be a cliche. One of main arguments forwarded by the Bank Management and Government Bodies, losing the additional days (Saturdays) would mean losing the business opportunity that could run into several billions. Thus, It becomes hard for the Bank or the Government to accept the concept of 5 days banking.
2. What about the good of Aam Aadmi?
After years of struggle, bankers were able to get two weeks with 5 working days. But what is the impact of having 5 days a week banking? Every Monday turns the bank premises into a battlefield, with hordes of customers entering the banks to do various transactions. No one care if the banks have sufficient staff or manpower. What matters is the availability of the institutions for public welfare.
In short, Banks are required because public needs them, not because bankers love working.
3. Either take a good Settlement or 5 days banking! A zero sum game.
Bankers get their bipartite settlement every few years. So, one of the most rudimentary arguments given against 5 days banking is hidden behind it. Since bankers are able to upgrade their pay scale every five years, 5 days banking would be too ambitious a demand.
In short, the path towards 5 days banking might be a difficult one, and might require years of struggles.
Till then, we can only hope for the best.
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