Employees’ demand raises fear of NRB not getting fresh blood

- RUPAK D SHARMA, Kathmandu
NRB employees are seeking annulment of provision, under which they have to retire after reaching age of 58 or after completing 30 years of service, whichever comes first

Sep 21, 2016-Around 300 employees will be pensioned off from Nepal Rasta Bank (NRB) in the next three years if the central bank follows the current provision on compulsory retirement. But plans are now afoot to retain such employees, as senior NRB officials said the board of the central bank is considering tweaking the provision on compulsory retirement.

If the board makes the change as speculated, the regulator of banks and financial institutions may not see injection of fresh blood in coming years, officials said requesting anonymity. NRB officials, at present, have to retire after reaching the age of 58 or after completing 30 years of service, whichever comes first. This means people who have joined NRB at the age of, say, 20, will have to retire at the age of 50, barring them from tapping the 58-year-old “retirement by age” option.

The 300 employees who are retiring in the next three years have already served the institution for 30 years. So the existing provision prohibits them from continuing to work for NRB after three years, although they will be well below 58 at the time when they retire. 

Surprisingly, of these 300 employees, according to the NRB officials, 240, or 80 

percent, do not have proper educational qualification or have educational 

qualifications other than those stipulated by NRB.

“Such people are now exerting pressure on the top NRB management to scrap the provision on compulsory retirement after 30 years of service, so that they can serve the organisation for a longer period,” said a senior NRB official. 

If the management heeds their advice, a person who joined NRB at the age of 20 can serve the institution for 38 years, as against the current provision of 30 years.

This, however, is not the first time some of the employees had lobbied for removal of the 30-year service bar. Earlier, during the period when Yubaraj Khatiwada was the governor, a trade union had placed a similar demand. But it was not addressed.

“If the 30-year cap on service is removed, NRB may not be able to inject fresh blood, who are better educated and techno-savvy, in the coming years as employees of the older generation will grab their opportunity,” said the official. 

“The removal of the cap will also bar competent younger employees from climbing the rungs of career ladder at a desired pace, as most of the senior posts would be occupied by older employees.”

Even now, the level of skills and knowledge of newly recruited assistant level staff far exceed those of officers promoted from assistant level “under special provision of file promotion”, says the report on “Organisation and Management Survey of Nepal Rastra Bank” prepared by Nepal Administrative Staff College. Newly recruited assistant level staff, for instance, possess higher academic qualification, says the report prepared in April. “But they are asked to perform jobs like note counting, sorting and teller transaction. This lowers their morale because they do not see these jobs adding value to their career progression,” further says the report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Post.

“Officers promoted under special provisions, on the other hand, do not possess skills and knowledge to perform the job of officer level, especially in the core business areas of research, regulation and supervision.”

NRB Governor Chiranjibi Nepal and Spokesperson Trilochan Pangeni could not be contacted.

Published: 21-09-2016 08:43

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