ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Errol D' SouzaSubscribe to Errol D' Souza

How Well Have Public Sector Banks Done?

The efficiency of the public sector banks has declined during the 1990s when measured by the spread/working fund ratio. Though the turnover/employee ratio of the public sector banks improved, the ratio for the private and foreign banks doubled relative to that of the public sector banks. The profitability of the public sector banks did improve relative to the private and foreign banks, but they have lost ground in their ability to attract deposits at favourable interest rates, in their slow technological upgradation, and in their staffing and employment practices, which has implications for their longer-term profitability.

Financial Markets, Human Resource Policies and Flexibility

Financial systems that are bank-based such as in Germany and Japan employ an internal strategy of managing human resources via job ladders and screening whereas in market-based systems such as in the UK and the US an external strategy where recruiting and laying off occurs as demand changes and market signals help set wages. India is a bank-based system that in the organised sector till recently followed the internal strategy of managing employment. But as product markets are liberalised and firms face increased competition, the ability to pass on the costs of worker privileges such as job security diminishes depending on the state of capital markets. The new epoch of competition based on the use of more flexible technologies and forms of work organisation thus calls for job enlargement and multiskilling and in some cases rearranging employees rather than recomposing the tasks they perform.

Budgetary Policy as Process, Not Event

The Budget for 2001-2002 seeks to kick-start growth through a host of measures including the speeding up of agricultural reforms, furthering financial reforms especially in the debt market, widening the tax base, etc. Central to the strategy, however, is fiscal consolidation and the reductions announced in administered interest rates on contractual savings which were supported by the pre- and post-budget cuts in the Bank rate announced by the RBI.

The Changing Monetary Environment

In the recent past the RBI has been using open market operations to sterilise the inflows of foreign capital so as to contain domestic monetary expansion. Due to a rise in the income velocity of base money this has created an incentive for the government to resort more to market borrowings from banks which has raised real interest rates and which exerts a depressing impact on the growth of economic activity along with creating pressures for the inflation rate to increase. The changed environment calls for a reduction in government expenditures which, whilst reducing interest rates and enhancing the level of economic activity, will also help nudge the economy to a lower inflation level.

Pages

Back to Top