BHUBANESWAR: Employees of Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Bank, who are struggling without salary or service allowances for the last five years, have threatened self-immolation at the State Capital on January 17.
The employees, under the banner of All Odisha Card Bank Employees’ Union, have put forth their demands of merger of the bank with Odisha State Cooperative Bank and implementation of mass VRS scheme. Senior officials of the Cooperation Department had promised to consider the demands of merger and VRS scheme during a meeting on November 26.
‘’We also met Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout and pleaded to bail out 75 employees of 45 CARD Banks in the State from financial distress,’’ general secretary of the association Mohan Gopal Panda said.
Implementing the VRS scheme would incur a loss of `15 crore on the Government which can be sourced from `25 crore which is a surplus from ADWDR 2008 funds, he added.
The State Government may also liquidate 22 buildings and around 100 acres of cultivable land under the ownership of the CARD Bank to facilitate the VRS scheme, sources said.
“The Government has been indifferent to our demands. The association will sit on a hunger strike in front of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies from December 9 to 16. If our demands are still not met, the employees will immolate themselves,’’ a member of the association, who is suffering from renal failure, warned.