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Basic Bank salary cut sparks demonstration

  • Published at 10:29 pm December 23rd, 2019
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'The ‘salary structure’ and all other employee benefits introduced in 2013 by the bank was scrapped'

State-owned BASIC bank staffers on Monday staged demonstration inside the bank's headquarters at Shena Kallyan Bhaban in Motijheel in the capital in protest against the salary cut.

Demanding immediate reinstatement of the previous salary structure, they also confined the bank's managing director Md Rafiqul Alam to his office chamber for hours between 11:00am to 6:00pm and sought a discussion with the bank's board of directors. 

They, however, agreed to move away in the evening on the day after the top management assured them of holding a meeting of the bank's board within this month to discuss the issue.

The bank Managing Director Md Rafiqul Alam told Dhaka Tribune on Monday evening that he and his team's senior members were discussing the board's decision over salary cut to find a peaceful solution.

"I am discussing the matter. Senior officials and representatives of the staff members are with me," Alam said at 6:15pm on the day. 

He said the board chairman Alauddin A Majid was informed of the latest developments and he agreed to sit again this month to discuss the issue.

State-owned Basic Bank, in an unprecedented move, has reduced salaries of its officials citing soaring losses. 

The bank’s human resource division on Sunday issued a letter to all branch managers in this regard, said officials familiar with the procedure.

According to the letter, the decision was taken at the 487th meeting of the bank’s board of directors on December 11. 

A high official of the bank, on condition of anonymity, said: “At this point, we don’t have any alternative but to reduce salaries to survive. To save the bank, we must reduce the bank’s expenditure.”   

The letter said, as Basic Bank continued to be a loss making concern over the last seven years, the ‘salary structure’ and all other employee benefits introduced in 2013 by the bank was scrapped. 

The letter also noted that the bank was paying higher salary to its employees as compared to those of the other state-owned commercial banks.

According to the letter, from now on the officials of Basic Bank will get salary as per the ‘Service (Bank, Insurance, and Financial Institution) (Salary and Allowances) Ordinance 2015’, issued by the Implementation Section of the Finance Division under the Ministry of Finance.  

The letter, signed by General Manager (Human Resource Division) Ahmad Hossain, also said that employee benefits outside of the ‘salary structure’ would be given on approval by the bank’s board of directors.     

In 2018, 18 out of the 68 branches of BASIC Bank were loss-making. The number increased to 33 in June this year.

The total cumulative loss of the bank stood at Tk 3,600 crore until 2018, including Tk 356 crore in last year.     

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