"Now with the Indian currency steadying itself and rate was between Rs 58.80 and Rs 59 per Dollar, there is need for changing the interest rate either for lending or on deposits," he said.

He also felt that RBI was justified in taking action according to foreign exchange volatility and pointed out that the apex bank had also assured to help banks in case of crisis. Kamath, also Chairman of Indian Banking Recruitment Services, said he favoured one examination and one interview for recruiting staff to all the nationalized banks in the country.

"We have recruited 15,000 staff in the last three years and this year we hope to recruit 3500 staff. If banks were recruiting people individually, one candidate would have to buy applications and pay fee for each bank, plus he has to pay for commuting. All this could be avoided with single examination and interview.

"Besides, some staff keeps jumping from one bank to the other. If there is common test and banks were allotted by the IBRS, then they would not change the banks," he said. Referring to recovery of loan from the Kingfisher Company and without disclosing the amount lent to the airlines company, he said that they had recovered 10 percent of the money lent to the Kingfisher by selling their shares. They were in the process of identifying the properties that could be attached and auctioned for recovering the balance of the debt.

The bank had assured the Uttharkhand government that it will help in rebuilding all the schools that were razed by the recent floods. The staff of the bank had donated Rs 7.35 crore, by providing one day salary.

About foreign business, he said eight percent of the business of the bank was done in Nepal, Bhutan and Branches in Kazakhstan, Shangai, Dubai and Hongkong. The bank played a major role in improving the banking systems in Nepal and Bhutan, he said.

(Agencies)

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