Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (Rakub) has not been following its promotion policy for the last few years, with many being promoted despite not having the necessary experience while with many qualified officers being deprived of promotion they deserve.
Moreover, the bank authorities have not been publishing the list of seniority for the last six years – allegedly to cover up irregularities in promotions.
The bank currently has 4,096 employees. The financial division of the Ministry of Finance approved the recruitment of 5,879 people in 2018 for Rakub. There have been some inconsistencies in the appointments and transfers of officials.
According to internal sources, soon after the promotion process started this year, the bank authorities began considering the promotion of senior principal officers Julia Khatun and Farzana Zaman – who have no experience as branch managers. They also have no working experience at the field level.
However, Section 2.7 (A) of the Rakub Promotion Policy states that if a person is to be promoted from principal officer to a senior principal officer and from senior principal officer to assistant general manager (AGM), he must have at least two years of experience as a branch manager.
To be promoted from AGM to deputy general manager (DGM), one has to have seven years of experience at the field level along with two years of experience as a branch manager.
In the past, the bank has promoted officers of choice in violation of this policy. Even now, many officials of the bank's head office, including the IT department, have no experience at the branch level, but the bank authorities are promoting them. Officials at various levels of the bank feel that such irregularities are possible due to the lack of supervision by the finance division.
After reviewing the information of the head office and 19 regional offices of the bank, it is found that some officials have been recruited with false information despite not having the educational qualifications mentioned in the recruitment circular. There are many officers (principal officers, senior principal officers and AGMs) who have never worked at any branch in their career, but the promotion policy of the bank mentions such experience is required.
Also, according to the Approved Promotion Policy 2016 (Rakub Officer-Employee) of the finance division, a list of posts vacant for promotion in different grades is prepared plus promotion proposals, information and related work plans are formulated between June 30 and December 31 every year. However, the bank is allegedly promoting employees based on nepotism.
Rakub's last seniority list was published on September 30, 2014. Even after six years, the Rakub authorities are continuing the promotion trade without publishing the seniority list. It is not clear to everyone which officers will be promoted based on seniority as the list has not been published.
Section 13 (5) of the Rakub regulations enacted under the Rakub Act 2014 states, "The Bank shall prepare and maintain a grade-wise seniority list of its employees and publish it from time to time for their information."
In this case, the people concerned think that the lack of supervision of the financial division and the Bangladesh Bank is apparent.
Observing the latest seniority list published, it is seen that the then-management authorities started the irregularities in April 2015 by promoting the senior officers from 245th to 392nd rank – overlapping the ones from 24th to 84th rank.
Later, Kazi Alamgir – currently managing director of Bangladesh Development Bank – did not take any action when he was the managing director of Rakub.
Meanwhile, several officials of the bank told The Business Standard that there has been psychological conflict, anger and dissatisfaction among the officials of the organisation over the promotions due to violations of seniority. If the promotion is given again in violation of seniority, the dissatisfaction of those deprived of the promotion will reach the tipping point, they said.
On the other hand, many officers have been working in one branch including the head office for more than three years in violation of the rules. Authorities have not taken any action against the officers who have been working in the same place, branch and area for more than three years.
Mukul Bardhan, a personal assistant to the chairman of Rakub, Hakim Dewan in the personnel management department and Shafiqul Islam in the Dhaka branch have been working in the same workplace for more than three years.
The Bangladesh Bank has instructed all bank officials not to stay in one branch for more than three years as there is a risk of bank officials getting involved in irregularities with long stays in one branch.
According to the bank's head office in Rajshahi, many Dhaka corporate branches are sending monthly employee reports with incorrect information. For example, although Lutfar Rahman, an assistant general manager of the branch, listed his district as Naogaon while joining, at present, he has mentioned his district as Dhaka in the information sent to the head office from the branch. He will have worked for three years in the Dhaka branch after one month.
Rakub chairman Mohammad Raisul Alam Mandal and managing director AKM Sajedur Rahman Khan did not answer any calls to discuss the issues.
A senior staff management official, on condition of anonymity, told The Business Standard, it is true that the rules are being violated and if the list of promotions and seniority were published as per the rules, the services of the bank would completely shut down.