69 more RBB staffers opt for Voluntary Retirement Scheme

KATHMANDU: Around 69 employees took voluntary retirement under the sixth phase of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) offered by Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB).

After the sixth phase of VRS, the number of present regular employees at the government-owned bank — excluding those on contract — has reduced to 2,740.

“Under the Financial Sector Technical Assistance Project (FSTAP), the bank had planned to reduce its workforce to 2,870 by the end of 2010,” said RBB chief executive officer Janardan Acharya.

While the bank has achieved its target of reducing the number of employees it has also infused fresh blood for the effective operation of the bank. “Around 242 new employees have been inducted,” he added.

Employees who have worked for 15 years or more can put in their papers voluntarily under the VRS. They will be given a golden handshake depending upon the number of years of service and level, which is minimum Rs 3,90,000, an extra amount.

“The total cost of VRS has come to around Rs 7 million,” Acharya said adding that though the cost is

funded by World Bank under FSTAP, the bank has been paying from its own fund and the World Bank fund

has been kept for emergency.

The VRS idea was floated when the management of NBL and Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) was handed over to foreign executives in 2002 under FSTAP to re-engineer the two financial institutions and make them competitive.

One reform measure undertaken by the foreign management was introducing VRS to downsize these two overstaffed public sector banks. Both banks are successfully running under Nepali CEOs — Janardan Acharya in RBB and Dr Binod Atreya in Nepal Bank Ltd — at present.

In Nepal Bank Ltd’s (NBL) fourth phase of VRS 225 staffers have applied and the number could go up 275, after the bank collects all the applications.

The final date for NBL’s VRS application ended yesterday.

RBB’s VRS

Ist phase — 1,267 staffers

2nd phase — 225 staffers

3rd phase —140 staffers

4th phase — 66 staffers

5th phase — 100 staffers

6th phase — 69 staffers

Total — 1,867