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Date Posted: 22:05:34 08/31/07 Fri
Author: Javed
Subject: FACILITIES LOOK GOOD IN BOOKS ONLY

By Javed - 06 January 2006

I could not stop amuzing myself reading the press release of the press conference held two months back by the Director General National Savings. He said that today commercial banks were giving better facilities to their customers hence in line with modern financial institutions, the NSs have taken steps. The first of which is provision of more seating arrangements for the customers. Though more seating has come but practical treatment with the customers remains the same. For example in modern banking a customer right entering into the premises interacts with a smiling educated staff whereas, like in the past, still one first interacts with an uneducated security guard or the peon in the National Savings. The customer needs to explain him the purpose of visit and this security guard will either give you concerned Forms or direct you which counter you to go. Recently I went to Gulberg and Gulshan-e-Iqbal Centers only to be provided with wrong Forms by the security guards as the Officers Incharge of Center as usual did not had time. The Officer Incharges in all NS Centers still sit like elite bureaucrats walled in fenced areas away from customers. Hence they do not ever know who was sitting on the waiting chair since when. I have always seen the Police posted on banks and NSCs chatting sitting on chairs guns in their laps while the departmental security guards always with guns hanging on their shoulders distributing new account Forms, dispensing account procedure/information or making tea or going out for photocopying or post office. I have never even once seen any police or departmental security guard standing alert with gun in right position. Having 23 years experience in police uniform abroad it does not surprise me the number of dacoities in such institutions.

The second so called incentive given is that the profit accrued will now be automatically transferred to savings accounts provided it is in the same Branch. According to DG it will save customers the time relief. How the hell it can save the customer I can not understand. Whether a the customer is withdrawing profit directly say from his Regular Income Scheme or from his Savings Account in which the profit was transferred, in both ways he is to attend the Center, get a token, sit for same one or two hours away from the eyes of high grade Officer Incharge and wait. So where is the time saving. The time saying could be if his accrued profit is transferred into his commercial bank account. It is rightly said our bureaucracy can well draft schemes only in the files. One must not have forgotten that during Benazir Bhutto rule colours of expresses trains were changed. On inauguration the Tailways Minister at Karachi Cantt Station on a question stated that this colour change will press the ticketless passengers to buy tickets. Did free loaders bought tickets or not there is no record, but it is on the Railways record that how much paint supply orders were placed on the NWFP pain factory of the Ministerís brother.

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