CIC Asks the C.M.D. of the State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
To Direct all Branches of the Bank to Review the Reasons for Turning Down Applications Made Under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana
Central Information Commission (CIC) has drawn the attention of the CMD of the State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur to the issue of sanctioning of applications under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) and to revisit the matter and direct branch managers of all branches of the bank in the state of Rajasthan and outside the State to review the reasons for turning down applications made under PMRY. Information Commissioner Smt. Deepak Sandhu gave this instruction to the Bank in its decision dated 27 June, 2011on an appeal filed against the State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur regarding the refusal by the Kishangarh Rainwal branch to give reasons for the rejection of 38 applications (out of 80) made under PMRY. These applications were made during the period of 5 years prior to 10 October 2007. During the hearing respondent bank stated that each branch was given a target under this PMRY and it was possible that once the target had been achieved, the other applications were not considered.
Taking serious note of such a casual approach of the bank’s branch the Information Commissioner directed the respondent bank to put in special effort to locate the information sought by the appellant regarding the reasons for rejection of applications received by the branch and provide the same to the appellant within one month. The Commission said that this RTI application has thrown up an important issue regarding the implementation of the PMRY. The Commission says that it cannot accept as valid the argument made by the respondent bank that in the implementation of this national programme, a target bound approach is followed by the bank which limits the implementation and scope of this important social sector programme. The Commission has drawn the attention of the bank to the fact that there are several statements made by the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, as reflected in the national media, to the effect that there is no paucity of funds for the social sector national programmes; and as such this does not support the case for a target bound approach. Therefore, it is all the more imperative that there be transparency in the processing of applications under these social sector programmes by the banks.
The Commission said that the CMD of the State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur should revisit the entire issue so that the information can be used to educate target groups on how to make wholesome applications which can be favourably considered by the bank. Also, the bank can do an internal review regarding obtaining additional funds for meeting the requirements of applicants beyond the stipulated target for each branch.