Kathmandu, January 20:
A section of the Agriculture Development Bank-Nepal (ADBN) employees have expressed serious resentment over a policy of the government which, if implemented with impunity, could seriously undermine the interest of those who have reached the twilight of their career.
What is drawing flak meanwhile is the enforcement of the Compulsory Retirement Scheme (CRS) for those who have completed 30 years at a time when Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) had already been unveiled for those who have completed 20 years. This will be eliminating as many as 575 employees, bringing the total number of employees down to 3,600.
A written plea submitted at the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has pointed out how the bank will be left with truncated experienced staffers since nearly half the employees will face retirement under CRS.
Significantly, the agreement signed with the Asian Development Bank, which is bankrolling the VRS by extending $ 15 million, does not have any reference to CRS.
It has been demanded that the bank should pay out more in the form of solation in the light of the spirally inflationary tendencies.
Yet another grievance is the latest scheme is not as attractive as previous schemes concerning retirement. Demands include that the retirement age be extended by two years from current 58.
This is not all. The demand for the extension of deadline for applying for VRS be extended until mid-April has fallen on deaf ears.
The deadline by which those seeking retirement should apply ran out on Wednesday following an extension from January 3. The management had been ruthless enough to give only 15 days â€œto think over and go for it.â€
Given the spirit of the policy a situation is fast arriving whereby senior employees who had received training could be retiring, thus leaving no other option for the bank than hiring foreign consultants.
But Eikraj Acharya, president of the Nepal Financial Institution Employeesâ€™ Union (NFIEU), said, â€œThe Asian Development Bank and the World Bank play their own games. But we must also modernise the banking sector with some harsh steps like the one which is pricking some. Package is good enough. We will have to live with it since this is a well-thought out policy.â€