CHENNAI: Are you a big ticket defaulter? If you are, you better be prepared to put up with silent, but embarrassing dharnas right outside your office, that will have bank employees telling the whole world that “here is a firm that owes us money and isn’t paying back”.
After conducting what must have been excruciatingly embarrassing dharnas to the defaulter, outside the offices of Empee Sugars and Jeypore Sugar Company on Friday, the Andhra Bank Employees Union revealed that the measure would be an ongoing process.
One that any un-cooperative defaulter should come to expect, as another hapless defaulter in Purasawalkam, who owed Rs 2 crore, found out on Saturday.
“These kind of silent protests and dharnas outside defaulters’ offices will be an ongoing process, like we did against those two big firms that owed Rs 38 crore and Rs 111 crore.
The company we protested against today, owed us Rs 2 crore,” said V Shankar Narayanan, zonal secretary of the union.
But why such an extreme and drastic measure? According to Narayanan, it is only as drastic since it involved Non-Performing Assets of public sector banks. “You have to understand that NPAs are at terrifying levels. If they are to be brought down, measures like this have to be tried out. We want the public to know why the bank is in such a bad state, after all it is their money that has been lent,” stated Narayanan.
The measure though, is not new. As early as January, the Central Council of Andhra Bank’s union of employees had taken a decision to implement this policy for big ticket defaulters.
Responding to the management’s target of reducing the Gross NPA of the bank from 5.99% to 4% by the end of March, employees in AP began dishing out dharnas. “And over there it is working. We have seen several results where defaulters have begun to start paying back or at least start talking,” said Narayanan.