Saturday, August 29, 2015


28t h August 2015

After two rounds of discussion between the Group of Ministers and the central trade unions on the 12-point charter of demands of the trade unions held on 26th and 27th August 2015, the GoM headed by Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley sent an appeal through the press release dated 27-08-2015 (Press Information Bureau) after 10 pm urging upon the trade unions to reconsider the call for countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015 claiming that the Govt has given concrete assurance to consider most of the demands  of the trade unions and that the trade unions agreed to consider the Govt’s proposals. Similar appeal was also made in the meeting of 27th August.  Both the claims of the Govt are totally incorrect.   

To put the facts straight, the joint platform of central trade unions have been pursuing with successive governments at the centre with their basic demands since 2009 and observed three rounds of countrywide general strike since 2010, the last being for two days in February 2013. In the two rounds of meeting between the CTUOs and the Group of Minister, nothing transpired in concrete terms except vague statements by the ministers on steps to be taken or being taken on some of the issues, that too not in the right direction.

The Govt’s press release mentioned, inter alia, certain issues in support of their unfounded claim.
1.    The Govt stated about “appropriate legislation for making formula based minimum wages mandatory and applicable” for all. But despite concrete pointers made by the trade unions that such formula should be what has already been unanimously  recommended by the 44th Indian Labour Conference in 2012 and again reiterated by 46th Indian Labour Conference in July 2015 in which the Govt of India is also a party,  the Ministers did not give any concrete commitment on the same. In fact said formulae recommended by 44th ILC in 2012 and reiterated by 46th ILC in July 2015, makes minimum wage around Rs 20000/- at 2014 price level and the Trade Unions demanded only Rs 15,000/. The Ministers’ vague formulation does not ensure even half of that. Is such a position worth consideration?    
2.    On contract workers, the Govt assured that they will be guaranteed minimum wages. What is there to assure except spreading deliberate confusion?  Existing laws of the land lawfully ensures payment of minimum wages to contract workers. The Govt’s statement regarding “sector specific minimum wages for the contract workers” also does not make any sense. The trade unions demanded “same wages and other benefits as regular workers in the concerned industry/establishment to be paid to contract workers.” The 43rd Indian Labour Conference held in 2011 recommended the same and 46th ILC unanimously reiterated the same in 2015, in which, again, the present Govt is a party. How could they deny the unanimous recommendation of the highest tripartite forum in the country like Indian Labour Conference?
3.    The steps taken by the Govt on Labour Law amendments, are meticulously designed to throw out more than 70% of the workers on industries and other establishments from the purview and coverage of almost all basic labour laws and also to eliminate almost all components/provisions of rights and protections of the workers. This was supplemented by more aggressive steps already taken by a good number of state governments to already amend the labour laws in the similar lines. On this issue, the Govt stated only that they will hold tripartite consultation before taking such steps.  The trade unions demanded scrapping of such proposals by the central govt and also not to give assents (through President) to the unilateral amendments made by the state governments. Even in all the tripartite consultations held on some of the proposals of the Govt, the trade unions’ unanimous suggestions has been ignored by the Govt in favour of loud supportive applauds of the employers. Once these retrograde changes in labour laws totally dismantling the rights and protection measures for the workers and also throwing more that 70% of the workers out of the purview of labour laws are enacted, thereby rendering the almost entire working people a right-less entity in their workplace, what would ensure even payment of minimum wage and other social security benefits for them, even if those provisions are improved ?  Can any trade union, worth its name accept such a machination designed to impose conditions of virtual slavery on the working people ?
4.    Despite repeated insistence by all the trade unions, the Govt refused to concede to the demand for recognizing  the Scheme workers, viz., Anganwadi, Mid-day meal, ASHA, Para-teachers and others as “worker” with attendant rights of statutory minimum wages and other benefits in gross violation of the unanimous recommendation of the 45th Indian Labour Conference in 2013, reiterated again by the 46th ILC  in 2015. These workers and all the schemes have been put to further crisis threatening their existance owing to drastic cut in budgetary allocations for those schemes. In such a situation, does the assurance of the Govt to “extend social security measures” and “working out ways” for the same carry any meaning?
5.    On bonus issue, the Govt has assured to revise the eligibility and calculation ceiling to Rs 21000/- and Rs 7000/- respectively from existing Rs 10000/- and Rs 3500/-. Trade Unions’ demand has been that since there is no ceiling on profit, all ceilings in the Payment of Bonus Act should be removed altogether. Trade unions also demanded substantial upward revision of the formula for gratuity calculation and remove the ceiling on gratuity payment. The Govt has negated the demands.
6.    On price rise situation, claim of the Govt that it has gone down does not match with ground reality in respect of commodities for daily necessities of the common people. The demands of the trade unions for putting a ban on speculation/forward trading in essential commodities and services along with universalisation of public distribution system throughout the country have been totally ignored.
7.    Trade Unions demanded stoppage of disinvestment in public sector undertakings playing crucial and supportive role in advancement of the national economy. Govt totally ignored the same, rather has been going on aggressively in disinvestment route  in all the major PSUs much to the detriment of the interest of the country’s economy.  On the demands for stoppage of further FDI in defence, railways and financial sector, the stance of the Govt is continuing to be a total denial. Rather, the Govt has been aggressively pursuing deregulation and privatization in strategic sectors like electricity, Port & Docks, Airports etc in a big way.

There are other issues as well, statement of Govt continued to be totally vague and their claim is unfounded. How can anybody, rather any trade union worth its name can consider above stands taken by the Govt on vital demands of the workers as a positive development and move out from the programme of united strike action ?

Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for reconsidering the decisions of the Central Trade Unions for countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015. Rather, the situation demands that there should be no vascillation in carrying forward the call for general strike on 2nd September 2015 throughout the country in all sectors of the economy with firm determination.

The Central Trade Unions appeal to all working people irrespective of affiliations to make the call for countrywide general strike against the anti-worker, anti-people policies of Govt a massive success.

                                                                                                                                                  Tapan Sen
                                                                                                                                    General Secretary CITU



No. PF-CL/2015                                                                Dated: 27th August, 2015

  Ref- DG POST LR. NO. 18-3/2002-WELFARE& SPORTS DT. 19-9-2002

               This is regarding stoppage of recoveries of CO-OPERATIVE SOCITIES from GDS employees issued vide letter cited u/r issued stating that TRCA cannot be treated as pay.

                In this connection we would like to bring to the notice of Madam, that Appendix 29 of FHB VOL -1 says that “a member of a society providing that this employer shall deduct from his SALARY or WAGES such amount  as may be specified in the agreement and to pay the amount so deducted to the society”. This clearly envisages that the deduction can be made from SALARY or WAGES OF A MEMBER of the Society. It does not specify the PAY/TRCA or any other name. all payments of GDS are being paid from the head “ SALARY” only. As such even though the name is deferent payment is done from the same head from which regular employees are paid.

               Further it is to bring to your kind notice, that many changes taken place in the payments after 2002. GDS re allowed to have PLI, RPLI POLICIES and deductions are done from their salary every month. Number of advances are sanctioned to GDS and recovered from their TRCA every month. In addition any court attachments are also recovered from them.

                At present, as Department allowed as payment bank, it is a must to relax this condition. Now GDS are being benefited by getting loans immediately if required for education of their children. Marriages of their children etc from CO-OPERATIVE SOCITIES without any problem. This stoppage has removed this facility resulting in hard ship to GDS to get loans otherwise.

               In this changed scenario you are requested to reconsider the issue and they may be permitted to obtain loans from CO-OPERATIVE SOCITIES by allowing deductions from salary, so that they will b   e brought out of tensions and work with more vigor.

           We hope that, you will consider the issue positively
           An early action is solicited.



No. PF-CL/2015                                                             Dated: 27th August, 2015
 Ref- DG POST  LR. NO. 2-53/2011-PCC DT. 22-1-2015 &  1-5-  2015
          This is regarding non implementation of orders of Directorate regarding revision of wages of casual labor. Even though Directorate issued orders  in the month of January vide memo cited u/r  the same is not being implemented at lower level in some circles particularly, TAMILNADU, ANDHRA PRADESH,WEST BENGAL & MAHARASTRA .CIRCLES. The situation is that in AP, KARNATAKA & W.BENGAL circles in some divisions new wages were paid but arrears are not drawn on the plea of non availability of budget.

          Those circles are raising some hypothetical objections which are not related to the issue. Wages are to be paid to those who worked against post without any objection along with arrears.

          Even though it was clearly mentioned in the order to implement 50% DA merger also as per the orders dt. 31-5-2004, the same is totally ignored in almost all circles.

           As such you are requested to issue instructions, so that orders are implemented very soon uniformly throughout the Country very soon at least by 15th September 2015 by which all casual labor the low paid employees will be benefitted.


    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for the extension of the term of the 7th Central Pay Commission by four months up to 31.12.2015.

            The 7th Central Pay Commission was constituted by the Central Government on 28.2.2014. According to the Resolution dated 28.2.2014, by which the Commission was constituted, it is to make its recommendations within 18 months of the date of its constitution that is by 27th August, 2015.
            In view of its volume of work and intensive stake-holders' consultations, the 7th Central Pay Commission had made a request to the Government for a four month extension up to 31.12.2015. 

Monday, August 24, 2015



 கண்ணீர்  அஞ்சலி !

அஞ்சல் தொழிற்சங்க இயக்கத்தின் முதுபெரும் தலைவரும் தமிழக அஞ்சல்  மூன்று மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின் முன்னாள் செயலருமான 

 தோழர் N .T.  ராஜன் அவர்கள்  

இன்று  மதியம்  இயற்கை எய்தினார் என்பதை  ஆழ்ந்த  வருத்தத்துடன் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம். இலாக்கா விசாரணைகளில் இவரது  வாதத் திறமையால் பயன் பெற்ற ஊழியர்கள்  ஏராளம்.  தோழர்.  பிரமநாதன் அவர்களுடன்  இணைந்து   பணியாற்றியவர் இவர் என்பது  குறிப்பிடத் தகுந்தது.

இவரின் பூத உடலுக்கான இறுதிச் சடங்கு  கீழ்க் கண்ட  முகவரியில்  நடைபெறும் என்பதை  தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.

CHENNAI 6000 091.

அன்னாரது பிரிவால்  வாடும் அவர்தம்  குடும்பத்தாருக்கும் , இயக்கத் தோழர்களுக்கும்  நம் ஆழ்ந்த இரங்கலைத் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம். அன்னாரின் மறைவிற்கு அஞ்சல் மூன்று மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின்  கொடி  தாழ்ந்த  அஞ்சலி !  





Saturday, August 22, 2015


திண்டுக்கல் கோட்டத்தின் சுழல் மாறுதல்களில்  பல்வேறு குளறுபடிகள் இருந்ததை சுட்டிக் காட்டி கடந்த 30.06.2015 அன்று  தென் மண்டல நெறியாளர் திருமதி .T.  நிர்மலாதேவி  அவர்களிடம்  நம்முடைய  மாநிலச் செயலாளர் தோழர். J .R . அவர்கள் கடிதம் அளித்து  நேரில் பேசிய  விபரம் நமது  வலைத்தளத்தில் ஏற்கனவே பிரசுரித்திருந்தோம். அதற்கு அவரும் , நமது கடிதத்தில் கூறியிருக்கும்  பிரச்சினைகளில்  தாம் உடன் படுவதாகவும் , இது குறித்து  திண்டுக்கல் முது நிலைக் கண்காணிப்பாளரிடம் உரிய விளக்கம்  பெற்று  ஆவன செய்வதாகவும் உறுதி அளித்திருந்தார்.   

இதன் பின்னர்  நடைபெற்ற இரு மாதங்களுக்கு ஒரு முறையிலான பேட்டியன்று நமது மாநிலச் சங்க நிர்வாகி தோழர். ஜோதி மற்றும்  திண்டுக்கல் கோட்டச் செயலர் தோழர்  மைக்கேல்  சகாயராஜ் ஆகியோரிடம் , நீதிமன்றத்தில் பல ஊழியர்கள் வழக்கு தொடர்ந்துள்ளதால் இது  குறித்து உரிய ஆலோசனை செய்தபின்  முடிவெடுப்பதாக  தெரிவித்திருந்தார். 

தற்போது  நாம்  அளித்த  அனைத்து  RT  பிரச்சினைகளையும் உரிய பரிசீலனை செய்து  அதன் அடிப்படையில் 15 க்கும் மேற்பட்ட ஊழியர்களுக்கு  RT  உத்திரவை  அவர்களின்  விருப்பக் கடிதத்தின் அடிப்படையிலேயே  மாற்றி அமைத்திட  உத்திரவு  அளித்துள்ளார்  என்பதை  மகிழ்ச்சியுடன் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.  

திண்டுக்கல் கோட்டத் தோழர்களின் நியாயமான  கோரிக்கைகளை ஏற்று இந்த  உத்திரவினை  வழங்கிய  மதுரை மண்டல நெறியாளர் திருமதி.  
T.  நிர்மலா தேவி , IP oS  அவர்களுக்கு  திண்டுக்கல் கோட்டச் சங்கத்தின் சார்பிலும் , மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின் சார்பிலும்  நன்றியைத் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம். 

Special Income Tax Return Counters to be Organised for Salaried Tax Payers including Pensioners to File Paper Returns Between 24th August to 31st August, 2015

 Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Finance

21-August-2015 15:10 IST

Special Income Tax Return Counters to be Organised for Salaried Tax Payers (Including Pensioners) to File Paper Returns Between 24th August to 31st August, 2015 at Pratyaksha Kar Bhawan in National Capital;

Special Facilitation Counters for Senior Citizens and Differently Abled Persons;

These Counters to Facilitate Smaller Tax Payers Having Salary/Pension Income But Their Total Income do not Exceed Rs. 5 Lakhs or Their Returns do not Contain any Claim for Refund

The Principal. Chief Commissioners of Income Tax, New Delhi will be organizing Special Return Counters for Salaried Tax Payers (including pensioners) between 24th August to 31st August, 2015 at Pratyaksha Kar Bhawan, Civic Centre, Minto Road, New Delhi. The camp will be inaugurated by Chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), Smt. Anita Kapur at 10.00 am. on Monday,24th August 2015

The special counters are being organized to facilitate smaller tax payers having salary/pension income, to file paper returns. Taxpayers may note that for the assessment year 2015-16, corresponding to the financial year 2014-15, e-filing of return of income is mandatory for persons whose total income exceeds Rs. 5 lakhs or if the return contains a claim for refund. Paper Returns in such cases will not be accepted.

However, the income limit of Rs. 5 lakhs and claim of refund will not apply to taxpayer over the age of 80 years deriving salary/pension income. In such cases paper returns will be accepted.

The special counters would be set-up jurisdiction wise as follows:

·                     For PCIT-22 Charge (Government salary)-‘B’ Block, Ground floor of Civic Centre, Minto Road, New Delhi.
·                     For PCIT-23 Charge(PSUs/Bank employees/School and College employees)-‘C’ Block, Ground floor, Civic Centre, Minto Road, New Delhi.
·                     For PCIT-24 Charge (Private salaries)- ‘C’ block, Civic Centre, Minto Road, New Delhi.
There will be special facilitation counters for senior citizens and differently abled persons.

Facilities like a Helpdesk, assistance of Tax Return Preparers (TRPs), UTI/NSDL counters, banking, tax payment facility, PAN verification counters, drinking water, and emergency medical aid will be available at the venue.

Similar facilitation counters are being set-up in other metropolitan cities based on the local requirement.

Source: Press Information Bureau


சுதந்திர தேசத்தின் நவீன  கொத்தடிமைகளா அஞ்சல் துறை ஊழியர்கள் ? 
தாராளமயத்தின் புதிய அவதாரமா  நவீன  அஞ்சல்  காலனித்துவம் ?

பொதுத்  துறையான  வங்கித் துறையில் பணியாற்றும் சுமார் 6,20,000 வங்கி ஊழியர்களுக்கு  மாதத்தின் இரண்டாவது மற்றும் நான்காவது சனிக்கிழமைகளில்  முழு விடுமுறை அளிக்க  மத்திய அரசு  ஒப்புதல் அளித்து  எதிர்வரும் செப்டம்பர் 1 முதல் இதனை அமலாக்க உத்திரவும் அளித்துள்ளதாக வெளியான  செய்தியை  கீழே  பார்க்கவும் .

ஏற்கனவே பொதுத்துறை வங்கிகள் சனிக்கிழமை அன்று அரை நாள் மட்டுமே  பணியாற்றுகின்றனர்.  அவர்களிடமும்  CBS , ONLINE  சேவை, ATM  என்று  பல்வேறு தொழில் நுட்ப முன்னேற்றங்கள் வந்து  MANUAL  RECORD  பராமரிப்பது நின்று  பல காலம்  ஆகிறது.

ஆனால் ,  வங்கிகளை பார்த்து  நம்மிடமும் வங்கி  துவக்க வேண்டும் என்றும்  PO SB யை  விரிவாக்க வேண்டும் என்றும் நாட்டின்  மூலை முடுக்குகளிலெல்லாம்  பரவிக் கிடக்கும் 1,55,000 அஞ்சலகங்கள் மூலம் இந்த  சேவையை   சிறப்பாக செய்ய வேண்டும் என்று  கூறும் நமது அதிகாரிகள் , 

1) COUNTER  பணி  நேரத்தை  தன்னிச்சையாக ஆங்காங்கே  நீட்டித்து  உத்திரவு  இடுகிறார்கள் .

2) சனியன்று  இனி முழு  நாளும்  COUNTER  வேலை  செய்ய  வேண்டும் என்று  உத்திரவு  இடுகிறார்கள் .

3)"24 மணி  நேரத்தில்  DELIVERY " என்று  E -COMMERCE  கம்பனிகளிடம் தன்னிச்சையாக ஒப்பந்தம் போட்டு  ஞாயிறு மற்றும்  மதப் பண்டிகை நாட்களில் கூட DELIVERY  செய்திட  பணிக்கு  வரவேண்டும் என்று உத்திரவு  இடுகிறார்கள்.

இதுதான்  " MODEL  EMPLOYER " போலும் . வங்கித்துறையைப் பார்த்து மாற்றங்களைக் கொண்டு வருகிறோம் என்று கூறிக் கொள்ளும்  நம் துறை  அதிகாரிகள் , வங்கித்துறையில் இருக்கும் சலுகைகளை   நம் ஊழியர்களுக்கு  கொண்டு வர மறுப்பது  ஏன் ? இருக்கும்  உரிமைகளையும்  படிப்படியாக  பிடுங்குவது  ஏன் ? 

நவீன காலனியாதிக்கத்தின்  புதிய அடிமைகளாக அஞ்சல் துறை ஊழியர்களை மாற்றுவது  ஏன் ?  சிந்திப்பார்களா  அல்லது கொத்தடிமை அரசாங்கம்  நடத்துவார்களா ?

அதிகாரிகளின்  சிந்தனைக்கே விடுகிறோம் . 

NEW DELHI: Bringing cheers to lakhs of bank employees, the government has accepted the long-pending demand of workers to declare second and fourth Saturdays holidays, with effect from September 1.

"The notification regarding Saturday off has come. It is effective from September 1," All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam told PTI. 

At present, all PSU and private sector banks work half-day on Saturdays. 

"This is a welcome move. This will be a big relief to employees and I hope that this will improve the productivity of employees," he said. 

In case of a month having five Saturdays, banks will be closed only on second and fourth 

Friday, August 21, 2015


          வேலை நிறுத்த  ஆயத்தக் கூட்டங்கள்         

                              சிறக்கட்டும் !                                   

   தமிழ் மாநில அஞ்சல் RMS  இணைப்புக் குழ சார்பாக  அறிவிக்கப்     
        பட்டுள்ள எதிர்வரும் செப்டம்பர்  2, 2015 க்கான ஒரு நாள்                                 வேலை நிறுத்த  மண்டலக் கூட்டங்கள்  சிறக்கட்டும் !               
  அனைத்துக் கோட்ட/ கிளைகளிலும்  தமிழக  இணைப்புக் குழு சார்பாக  அறிவிக்கப் பட்டுள்ள வேலைநிறுத்த  ஆயத்தக்  கூட்டங்களை  சிறப்பாக                                                 நடத்திட  வேண்டுகிறோம்.                                     
                                              போராட்ட வீச்சு  பெருகட்டும் !                                 
                                        வேலை நிறுத்தம்  வெல்லட்டும் !                           


புதுகை அழைக்கிறது ! மாநாடு காண 

  மகிழ்வுடன் வா  தோழா  !  


Government committed to reviving postal department: Ravi Shankar Prasad

NEW DELHI: Communications Minister Ravi  Shankar Prasad today said the government will revive the postal department  by using over 1.5 lakh post offices for furthering financial inclusion and  payments bank is a step towards it.

The Reserve Bank of India has granted 'in-principle'  approval to Postal Department to set up payments bank.

"We have to make  all the preparations in 18 months, which we will do. The Modi government is  going to revive the postal segment and post payment bank is an indication to that," Prasad told reporters here.

He said that the 1.50 lakh post offices from Kashmir to Kanyakumari  will play an important role in financial inclusion.

Prasad said since  becoming the Communications Minister, he has tried that postal department should  move forward.

"You know in e-commerce, postal department is moving  forward, they have done business of about Rs 600 crore in the last 2 months," he  said.

The government will soon give handheld devices to all rural post offices, he  added.

The payments bank licence will enable the Department of Post (DoP) to offer banking services to the  masses through its vast network of 1,54,000 post offices, of which 1,30,000 are  in rural areas.

As per RBI  guidelines, payments bank would offer a limited range of products such as demand  deposits and remittances. They will not be allowed to undertake lending  activities and willinitially be restricted to hold a maximum balance of Rs 1 lakh per customer.

They will be allowed to issue ATM or debit cards as other prepaid  payment instruments, but not credit cards.

Meanwhile, regarding  electronic manufacturing the Minister said, under MSIPS scheme proposals worth Rs 30,000 crore have come and  approval has been given to around Rs 12,000-13,000 crore.


India Post Says Open to Partnerships for Payments Bank

MUMBAI:  Having secured RBI's nod to set up a payments bank, the Department of Posts has said it is open for partnership in this new venture and is in talks with some telecom companies.
"We are very excited about it. We have our own strength in terms of ubiquity which we will be leveraging. We are going to induce digital technology. We are looking for partnership where it will be a win-win situation for all," M S Ramanujan, Member Banking, Postal Services Board told PTI.
The Reserve Bank last evening gave in-principal approval to 11 entities, including Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Vodafone, Airtel and Department of Posts, to set up Payments Banks.
Other applicants which received approval for Payment Banks are Cholamandalam Distribution Services, Tech Mahindra, National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Fino PayTech, Sun Pharma's Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi and PayTM's Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Ramanujan said India Post is in talks with other telecom companies which has received approval to set up Payment Banks.
"We are in talks with telecom companies which have already received in-principle approval today (for payment bank)," he said.
"Payments bank is not to be viewed as adversarial competition but as a collaborative competition," he added.
With 155,015 post offices across the country, of which 139,144 are in rural areas, India Post offers its partner a wider reach.
India Post can take advantage of the digital platform provided by telecom players.
Another applicant, Cholamandalam Distribution Services which also received in principle approval said it is also open for partnership.
"We are exploring partnership but before that we would like to know RBI's view about the idea," Vellayan Subbiah, Managing Director, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance said.
Source : The New Indian Express

Payment banks and the opportunity at the bottom of pyramid

The Reserve Bank of India yesterday announced it was granting 11 licences for setting up of payment banks.

The central bank last year had mooted the idea of a payment bank, an entity that would serve functions such as allowing customers to open small savings accounts (up to Rs 1 lakh deposit limit), have debit cards issued against them, make transfers and carry out internet banking transactions.

The RBI yesterday granted licences to a clutch of companies and individuals of various backgrounds: ranging from telecom firms (Airtel, Vodafone, AB Nuvo, which runs Idea Cellular, and Reliance Industries, which is to launch Reliance Jio this year) to financial services companies (Chola, micro lender Fino Paytech, depository NSDL) and tech startups (Paytm) to the Indian postal service.

Calling it "one of the most exciting spaces" for the banking system, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today said payments bank would complement the core banking sector by improving last-mile connectivity services and help push financial inclusion.

(Payment banks will differ from traditional banks in three ways: they cannot lend or issue credit cards and customer deposits will have to be necessarily kept in safe SLR securities.)

But very clearly, the most exciting part of the development is no one knows how business models of payment banks will evolve. Governor Rajan was the first one to admit that and it shows in the central bank's thinking when it gave away licences to companies and individuals belong to diverse fields.

For instance, stats available till before the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana rollout showed more than half the country's residents did not have access to formal banking services, but nearly everyone today has a mobile phone.

The reason for the above situation is simple: wieldy banks found it unprofitable to foray into the hinterland in a big way (imagine the cost of putting up even a small bank branch) butnimbler telecom companies -- through their mom-and-pop retail channel -- did.

That's exactly where payment banks come in: a cross between technology and financial services. The tens of millions of telecom customers in the country, with their KYC requirements already cleared, may automatically qualify to become an account owner.

Telecom companies have already expressed a desire of tying with traditional banks in order to expedite rollout of services.

Paytm, which started off as a payment service before rolling out an ecommerce service, has about 100 million registered users, with many turning into a potential payment bank customer.

The joker in the pack is India Post, with its 1.5 lakh branches almost entirely spread across rural India, which could adopt technology in a big way and make a financial services foray into areas where banks have feared to tread.

But one thing is clear: the idea of a payment bank will have to be led primarily by a technology push rather than a banking push. (Since payment banks cannot lend, their profit margins will also be low, making it even more necessary for the need to use greater technology.)

"I believe technology companies find it easier to learn other about other business than other business can learn about technology," Paytm co-founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma told CNBC-TV18, adding that such companies will help make a resolute push towards reaching out to the unbanked.

Sharma also said traditional banks had been slow to adopt to changing customer preferences.

His argument is borne out by the fact that banks have shied away from rolling out services to those at the bottom of the pyramid.

It shows in the fact that almost all staple savings account services, especially from private banks, have hefty balance maintenance requirements. The KYC process, too, remains cumbersome with only a handful opting for use of greatertechnology.

"Consumers are readily adopting mobile as a way to transact. So consumers are changing. Maybe it is the banks that need to catch up," he said.

Perhaps it will be innovations such as payment banks that will force them to change.
Source :