KCCI president, office bearers call on MD J&K Bank, discusses banking issues

J&K Bank MD and CEO Baldev Prakash posing with KCCI office bearers.
J&K Bank MD and CEO Baldev Prakash posing with KCCI office bearers.

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Mar 21: The office bearers of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) led by its president Javid Ahmad Tenga today held a threadbare meeting with the MD/CEO of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Baldev Prakash.
During the meeting, the issues confronting various sectors of the economy were discussed with the MD drawing attention to the stressful conditions that have prevailed in J&K in general and Kashmir in particular since the devastating 2014 floods, turmoil, shutdowns, restrictions, communication breakdown during 2016, 2018, 2019, and COVID 19 epidemic, which dealt a crippling blow to the economy, affecting handicrafts, trade, and industry.
The CEO’s attention was also directed to the fact that, despite these economic issues, businesses ensured that bank dues were paid back, as indicated by the fact that NPAs in the Kashmir valley are significantly lower in both amount and number when compared to other regions. Furthermore, he was informed that there are very few deliberate defaulters who defaulted owing to circumstances beyond the borrower’s control.
Concerning the One Time Settlement Scheme, the trade body, while appreciating the steps taken by the Bank in floating OTS, sought 2 years instead of the present 6 months. Moreover, KCCI suggested raising the limit to 50 crores instead of the present limit of 10 crores under OTS.
On the renewal of Cash Credit, the KCCI discussed the issue which is causing difficulties to account holders and hampers their business activities on the issue of revival of the Qarz Mukt Scheme, the trade body proposed the revival and extension of the Scheme for 6 months.
Regarding the matter of NPAs and SARFAESI proceedings, the CEO was requested to devise a method of communication and negotiations jointly with KCCI before taking harsh steps like initiating SARFAESI proceedings which will help in making a meaningful recovery in a dignified manner while on the restructuring of loans, the trade body members proposed restructuring of stressed and NPA loans with a slightly reduced interest rate.
During the meeting, there was an agreement on the formation of a Joint KCCI and J&K Bank Committee for the progress made on the implementation of the decisions arrived at between the bank and the KCCI as was in the past.
Earlier, MD and CEO felicitated the newly elected members of KCCI executive body. Bank’s General Managers Ashutosh Sareen, Syed Rais Maqbool, Syed Shujaat Hussain, Divisional Head (Kashmir) Syed Shafat Hussain, Zonal Head (Srinagar) Shabir Ahmad along with DGMs were also present at the meeting besides senior KCCI office-bearers Ashaq Hussain Shangloo, Fayaz Ahmad Punjabi, Faiz Ahmad Bakshi and others.
Meanwhile, as part of observing World Plantation Day, J&K Bank today conducted a plantation drive wherein saplings comprising of various species were planted at various places in the valley. Baldev Prakash led the drive by planting a fruit sapling in the lawn of Bank’s corporate headquarters with General Managers, DGMs and other senior officers present on the occasion.