State Bank of India has postponed the commencement of its inward remittance cell after mid-November.
Inward remittance means purchase of foreign currencies in whatever form and includes not only remittances by M.T., T.T., draft etc., but also purchase of travellers cheques, drafts under travellers letters of credit, bills of exchange, currency notes and coin etc. Debit to banks' non-resident Rupee accounts also constitutes an inward remittance.
The inward remittance cell will be centralized in Kolkata following the protest of several bank unions to partly shift the foreign department of the bank to Kolkata from Mumbai. The bank union demanded the equal division of the forex operation of SBI between Mumbai and Kolkata. Most work of the foreign department of SBI that includes dealing and cover operations are dealt in Mumbai.
However, the centralized inward remittance has been started at the NRI branch of SBI in Kolkata where only some back office operations are handled.
The new cell is expected to handle foreign remittance to SBI from outside the country. Initially the foreign remittances to SBI were taken care by some selected branches of SBI across the country.
In 1997-98, the forex dealing and cover operations of SBI were shifted to Mumbai in order to mix with the domestic treasury operations.
The cell was expected to start its operations in the month of September but delay on account of infrastructure and software-related problems did not allow its functioning. This new cell will recruit about 30 clerical staffs and 10 officers' level employees to start its operations.