The central government must ask the State Bank of India (SBI) to scrap a condition in its hiring of clerks that prevents loan defaulters from applying for the job, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said on Tuesday.
"The condition that those who have not repaid the education loan are not eligible to apply for the job is not acceptable; it's unconstitutional, " said a statement issued here by Ramadoss, who founded the political party Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
He urged the central government to intervene and ensure that the SBI's recruitment condition is scrapped.
The SBI is hiring 17, 140 clerks and has called for applications.
However, the bank has barred people with a record of defaults in repayment of loans or credit card dues or with an adverse report from a credit information company from applying.
Also, "candidates against whom there is/are adverse report regarding character and antecedents, moral turpitude are not eligible to apply for the post", said the SBI notification.
Ramadoss said such a condition takes away the right to employment from the country's younger generation and is unconstitutional.
Education loan is taken by students to pursue their education to be repaid once they get a job, he noted.
Getting a job has become a rarity now and SBI's decision to bar education loan defaulters from applying for the clerical job would end in negative results, he said.
According to a survey 90 percent of the education loan borrowers are actually repaying their dues, Ramadoss said.
"The nationalised banks are playing dual role. The total bad loans of the government banks is now around Rs. 400, 000 crore and the banks are not taking an action to recover the same, " Ramadoss said.
If PMK comes to power in Tamil Nadu, it will write off the outstanding education loans, he said.
The trade unions of banks are also opposed to SBI's condition.
"The SBI's condition is obnoxious and unfair and has to be changed, " C. H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), had told IANS.
He said the economy was not doing well and as a result companies were defaulting on their loan repayments.
"Corporate loans are turning non - performing assets (NPA). As a result, freshers are not able to get a job and unemployment is high, " Venkatachalam said.
"It is ironical that Vijay Mallya owes about Rs. 9, 000 crore to SBI and other banks and is a member of parliament despite being declared by banks as wilful defaulter, but a poor student who might have defaulted on loan for genuine reason is prevented from applying for a clerical job by the SBI, " Venkatachalam said.