JAMMU, Nov 30: BJP State spokesman, Brig (retd) Anil Gupta today said that there is a deliberate attempt by the vested interests in Kashmir to oppose the decision of the SAC to convert J&K Bank into a PSU.
In a statement issued here, today he said the people with vested interests hold protests and issue statements to arouse public sentiments but their all attempts have failed since the decision has been welcomed by the vast majority of population across the State. A common Kashmiri has heaved a sigh of relief because if an ordinary shopkeeper defaulted in payment of instalments, he was humiliated and threatened by publishing his photograph in newspapers and given repeated warnings and notices. However, in case of rich and politically influential people negotiations were held with them in cosy rooms to find ways and means to ‘write off’ their loans, he added.
“The Bank had earned the notorious reputation of making rich richer and the poor poorer,” stated Brigadier Anil Gupta.
Welcoming the statement of the Governor, that “the people with ‘personal or political interests’ in J&K Bank are opposing move to make it a PSU,” Brig Gupta alleged that,”the Bank has witnessed deterioration over a period, where the hierarchy is not given the rightful place in making the decisions. The decisions on crucial issues are motivated and are being taken keeping in view a particular interest. A particular lobby of young businessmen, which pretends to be close to the corridors of power, is believed to be calling the shots as to who should be benefited and who should not”, he added.
The spokesperson also ridiculed the statement of Jammu and Kashmir Socio Economic Coordination Committee (JKSECC), a Srinagar based group, that “making J&K Bank a PSU is a ploy to make us financially dependent on New Delhi”. “How can a State that cannot even manage the salary of its employees, remain financially independent from New Delhi, he asked? On the contrary, the Bank would be better managed financially and freed from the clutches of power brokers thus benefitting ordinary Kashmiri,” retorted Brig Gupta.
He said the J&K Bank has been under cloud for rising Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), back door appointments, misuse of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), undue favours and lack of transparency. The Bank has often been allegedly politicised and its abuse by the rulers for furtherance of their political and economic interests, who indulged in massive frauds and irregularities, . By December 2017 among the private sector banks in the State, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank had one of the highest NPAs of Rs 1,149 crore. As far as backdoor appointments and lack of transparency is concerned, it has been a perpetual problem with the Bank.