SBI to hire 14,000 employees; dismisses claims of job cuts due to VRS

SBI to hire 14,000 employees; dismisses claims of job cuts due to VRS

A day after proposing its voluntary retirement scheme, the State Bank of India (SBI) has said that it will recruit 14,000 employees this year. The SBI said in a statement, "It has been employee-friendly and is expanding its operation and requires people, which is evidenced by the fact that Bank has plans of recruiting more than 14,000 employees this year". It also added that its VRS is not cost-cutting.

SBI's statement on hiring came after former Finance Minister P Chidambaram slammed the proposed VRS Scheme.

"News reports say that SBI plans to implement a VRS scheme as an 'economic measure'. In normal times the plan would be debatable. In these abnormal times, when the economy has collapsed and jobs are scarce, it is cruel," Chidambaram tweeted.

"The plan is ostensibly voluntary but we know that subtle pressure will be brought on the employees that the Bank wants to get rid of. If the current rules provide for genuine voluntary retirement, why announce a new plan and give out an exact number like 30,190?" Chidambaram added.

Yesterday, SBI proposed a voluntary retirement scheme under which the bank said about 30,190 employees are eligible. SBI has an existing workforce of around 2.50 lakh. Against this backdrop, the bank has decided to provide a congenial solution to employees "who expressed a desire for making strategic shifts in their vocations, either due to professional growth limitations, physical health conditions or other situations," SBI said.

The SBI has reportedly prepared a draft scheme for VRS and only board approval is awaited. As per the draft scheme, 'Second Innings Tap VRS-2020' will be opened to all permanent officers and staff who have put in 25 years of service or completed 55 years of age on the cut-off date.