Make officials well-versed in local languages, FM Sitharaman tells banks

FM Nirmala Sitharaman
It is important for the public sector banks (PSBs) to focus on language training of their officers if they want to be in the league of all India services such as the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Foreign Service, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.

Addressing the launch of the common foundation training programme for PSB officers, the FM said: “I would think it is important for officers, especially the new recruits, to decide on that one language in which they would want to specialise on a voluntary basis”.

Providing banking services involves interaction with customers and if the officers are unable to speak in the local language where they are posted, it becomes difficult to provide financial services, she said.

“In the posting that they go to (officers), if they are unable to speak the language, then it’s not an all India service at all. And, they are only causing greater discord, as they are interacting at the branch level with the customers,” the FM said. If there are people getting recruited from a particular state, whatever number that may be, they should, as much as possible be deployed in that state, the minister said.

“If you have a surplus from that state, yes, please move them to any other point.”

According to the Common Foundation Training programme, after completion of one-year of training, officers will not be given independent charges. Furthermore, after 15-20 years of services, the senior officers will undergo a four-week training so that saturation does not set in.

The minister also suggested to the Indian Banks’ Association to roll out a similar training exercise for their clerical staff.

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