बैंक मित्रों का अधिकार || RIGHTS OF BANK MITRA's

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Enumeration of the distress of Bank Mitras servicing poor customers and promoting financial inclusion.

Under financial inclusion initiative taken by Government of India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna
(PMJDY) scheme was promoted at a war footing and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had even lauded
it during his speech delivered from Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day in 2014. Those
doing the leg work (known as bank mitra) and delivering the services under this initiative to the
customers are in distress. This initiative by Government of India is indeed a forward looking initiative
which is reshaping the Indian economy, however, the support needed for the bank mitras are totally
missing.
This letter is to bring the woes of lakhs of the bank mitras working in India to notice of government
of India with the urgent request to take action as early as possible. The nature of distress is as under:

1. Security concerns: Multiple incidents are being reported on a daily basis under which bank
mitras are being robbed or even being killed. There is no mechanism put in place by the
technical providers managing these correspondents about what will happen in case they are
robbed or killed? Why should the same protection in terms of insurance towards loss of
property, cash or life not be made available to these bank mitras as that is available to a
bank employee working in a branch?
2. Remuneration concern: The master circular (RBI/2014-15/77 DBOD. No. BAPD.BC.
7/22.01.001/2014-15), released by RBI on July 1, 2014, section 8 (J) clearly states, “The
banks may pay reasonable commission/fee to the BC, the rate and quantum of which may be
reviewed periodically. Commission structure or incentive mechanism should be devised in a
manner that mere increase in the number of clients served or the transaction volume does not
drive the commission. The remuneration should combine fixed and variable parts dependent,
inter-alia, on some indication or measure of customer satisfaction. Some part of the variable
remuneration could be deferred or clawed back in case of deficiency of service.”
a. The Bank mitras are not being paid fees and commission in a transparent manner.
b. Most of the bank mitras are not being paid any fees at all
c. The commission structure is very opaque. It is not clear what commission they should
be earning versus what that they have been earning.
d. The technical providers have not put in place a platform where the bank mitras
could check what commission they should expect and by when
e. The time line for being credited with the commission is not defined. It is still taking
around a month, while the private players are completing the transaction within 72
hours.
f. Bank mitras are not aware if any revision in their fixed and variable components of
remuneration has been made.

g. The technical providers are charging 18% GST on the commission being earned by
the Bank mitras. We are not sure if that deduction is being forwarded to the
government. Moreover, if the bank mitras annual income is way less than Rs20 lakh
per annum, should their GST be deducted? Also, should the same be deducted at
the rate of 18% if the services being provided under PMJDY are meant for the poor
and marginal people in India?
h. The bank mitras have been left high and dry without any support in terms of
managing the equipment and operational cost of running the business
i. It is not clear what ought to be the sharing mechanism of commission between the
technical service provider and the bank mitras. Currently, more than 40% of the
commission is being deducted under the heads of GST, TDS etc. Also, it is not clear
what is the TDS percentage that should be deducted. Also, is this TDS being
deducted is being forwarded to the government? We are not sure of any of these
things.
j. We are under this assumption that the technical providers are exploiting the poor
bank mitras like Zamindaars and that the authorities in the Banks are either
indifferent to such concerns or are hand in glove with them
k. The contract between the technical provider and the bank mitras are either missing
or are one sided in favour of the technical provider to say the least.