SBI bars loan defaulters from aspiring to become clerks (Lead, Changing headline)

Chennai, April 18 (IANS) A wilful defaulter of a Rs.9,000 crore bank loan can be a member of parliament but a poor student who had defaulted on education loan due to economic/family circumstances is barred from applying for a clerical job in State Bank of India (SBI). This, a top bank union leader said, is obnoxious.

After naming and shaming education loan defaulters, the SBI is now preventing them from applying for clerical jobs in the bank which is patently wrong, said a top bank union official.

“The SBI in its notification for hiring junior associates and junior agricultural associates has barred candidates with record of default in repayment of loans/credit card dues or against whose name adverse report of CIBIL or other external agencies are available from applying for the job,” C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.

“Candidates against whom there is/are adverse report regarding character & antecedents, moral turpitude are not eligible to apply for the post,” the SBI notification said.

“The SBI’s condition is obnoxious and unfair and has to be changed. The economy is not doing well and as a result, the corporate loans are turning bad or non-performing assets (NPA). As a result, freshers are not able to get a job and unemployment is high,” Venkatachalam said.

It is ironical that Vijay Mallya owes around Rs.9,000 crore to SBI and other banks and is a member of parliament despite being declared by banks as wilful defaulter, but a poor student who might have defaulted on loan for genuine reason is prevented from applying for a clerical job by the SBI, Venkatachalam remarked.

“A fresh graduate cannot repay his education loan if he does not get a job. And if hiring organisations like SBI bar such candidates even from applying, then how can they repay their loans? Normally a fresher will only have education loan against his name,” he added.

“Genuine borrowers will be affected by SBI’s condition. In fact, banks do not maintain their accounts and there have been cases where a student who has not completed his course has been classified as NPA by the banks,” K. Srinivasan, convenor, Education Loan Task Force (ELTF), told IANS.

According to Srinivasan, education loans are classified as NPAs for non-payment of interest subsidy by the central government.

The ELTF guides students free of cost on rules and regulations governing education loans offered by nationalised banks.

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