People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 15

April  10, 2011

Peerless Employees on Struggle Path


THE Peerless General Finance & Investment Co Ltd, Kolkata, has established itself as a well known financial institution to the people of our country by virtue of procuring small savings from rural and urban depositors across the country through its 147 offices. Around 1500 office and 50,000 field employees are at present earning their livelihood from this company. The company has paid backs Rs 18,000 crores to its depositors on maturity. The company has received a certificate of appreciation from Reserve Bank of India for complying with the regulatory norms properly.


But it is a matter of great astonishment that despite all this the company has stopped its traditional non-banking nature of business from April 1, 2010 as per instructions from the Reserve Bank of India. As a result, the lives and livelihood of employees attached to this business are now in jeopardy and they are apprehending to lose their jobs.


In the year 1987, the Supreme Court declared in a verdict that the savings schemes conducted by the Peerless are legal and advised the Reserve Bank of India to be careful to protect the interest of its office and field employees along with depositors while framing the regulatory measures for the Peerless. But now we find that the Reserve Bank of India has very carefully ignored the interests of the Peerless employees.


The All India Peerless Employees Union has been urging upon the management since 2005 to start their own insurance business as a perfect alternative to the hitherto RNBC operations. But on every occasion the management turned down its proposal on one or another superfluous plea.


Sitaram Yechury and Basudeb Acharia of the CPI(M) and some other Left members of parliament have written a letter to the union finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, seeking his intervention to resolve the crisis in the Peerless in order to protect the interest of crores of depositors and thousands of office and field employees.


Hence the Peerless employees’ union decided to hold conventions at the state headquarters throughout the country to demand the government’s intervention to resolve the Peerless crisis in the interest of all. The first such convention was held in Kolkata on December 4, 2010, in which various trade union leaders participated in support of Peerless employees and depositors.


Recently, another convention was held on March 5, 2011 --- at Sundaraiah Vignana in Hyderabad.


Chukka Ramaiah, MLC, inaugurated the convention. Various trade union leaders, employees of Peerless throughout the state and field employees participated in it.


All India Insurance Employees Association’s general secretary Venu Gopal, state INTUC general secretary Abdul Bhader, CITU Hyderabad city committee president S Narsimha Reddy, All India Peerless Employees Union general secretary Gautam Chatterjee, INTUC secretary Ram Mohan Rao, and other trade union leaders addressed the convention, demanding the government’s immediate intervention for continuation of RNBC business of the company.