New Delhi, Mar 31: Finance Minister P Chidambaram today called for evolving a new culture in the banking sector entailing a participatory system of management and where trade unions desist from resorting to strikes. "There is need to change the old mindset. The Banks must aim to become world class institutions. This will require a participatory system of management and one where trade unions do not engage in strikes", Mr Chidabaram said at function organised here by the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).
The event was aimed at celebrating the achievement of new milestones of OBC where all branches and offices have been covered under the Core Banking Solution (CBS). Mr Chidambaram also launched the Bank's new IT-based initiatives under the 'Brand Oriental Bank ez Banking.'The Bank will offer the facility of online apllication for education loans, online payment of taxes, online shopping, online trading in shares and branchless banking by the deployment of mobile and biometric based solutions, under the segment financial inclusion. The offering includes an ATM cum Debit card branded as 'Cashmate' for the benefit of student community. It facilitiates a temporary overdraft to meet exigencies.
The Finance Minister handed over letters of sanction for education loans to five students, besides presenting Biometric Smart Cards to five rural beneficiaries, representing artisans, marginal and tenant farmers. The OBC also sponsored the cost of the proect promoted by the Institute of Social Service, Delhi, for skill development among 22 women Self Help Groups (SHGs).
Secretary (Financial Sector) Arun Ramanathan and OBC Chairman Alok K Misra also addressed the gathering.
Mr Chidambaram said a quite revolution had swept the banking sector, which has gone largey unoticed by the media. This revolution has been led by the Public Sector Banks and an instance of this was that more and more banks have taken recourse to CBS.
He said under the new culture which needs to be adopted the managements should not be vindicative as also the staff must realise that it must join in the endevour of the managements to reach greater and greater heights.
Mr Chidambaram said the banking industry should have a young profile of its staff members, the managements should be aggressive in achieving business goals and also aim to vigourously achieve the ojective of financial inclusion.
Mr Chidambaram said OBC was the fourt Public Sector Bank to have all its branches and Extension Counters covered under the CBS. The other three being Corporation Bank, Indian Bank and Union Bank of India. Noting that OBC was set up way back in 1943 in Lahore, Mr Chidambaram said the Bank does not have a branch now in Pakistan.
He said he has asked the management of the Bank to apply for a RBI license to set up a branch in Lahore and expressed the hope that the new government in Pakistan would permit the establishment of such a branch.
The Finance Minister said only half of India was a participant in the economic prosperity of the nation. He said the objective of financial inclusion needs to be pursued with grit and determination so that the other half could also benefit from the development process.
"If this were to happen the growth rate of the Indian economy would not be eight or nine per cent per annum but go upto ten or eleven per cent", he remarked.
Mr Chidambaram said the OBC which had taken over the Global Trust Bank(GTB) some times back and has been abe to resolve all the outstanding issues with the GTB.
He said the OBC had crossed the total business milestone of Rs one lakh crore in 63 years and exuded confidence that it will be able to achieve the same objective in the next three and a haf years. This was the pace at which the banking sector has been progressing.
Mr Chidambaram said the banking industry must deploy technology at a rapid pace, both in urban and rural areas.
Mr Ramantahan said the PSBs need to pay greater heed to achieving financal inclusion, while not loosing track of profitabity and other business goals.
Mr Misra gave a glimise of the OBCs alround and profitable growth.
This included scaling up by the year 2010 operations to more than 1,500 branches, total business of Rs two lakh crores and net profit of Rs 1,300 crores.