Winding up of JAKFED and related issues


Anoble experiment of shaping an apex level institution in co-operative sector in Jammu and Kashmir to deal with , procure and distribute fertilizers to agriculturists , named as Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative supply and Marketing Federation Ltd (JAKFED) showing promising results initially in its performance led to its diversification of activities like procurement of cement , construction material, distribution of LPG , PCC tiles and supplying various items to some Government Departments etc , unfortunately failed within a few years only. As a natural corollary , hundreds of employees engaged in the Federation were earning their livelihood in normal course . Its profit earning tempo continuing for many years started waning and finally it started incurring heavy losses. Rampant mismanagement, pilferage, corruption, embezzlement , excess staff, improper records keeping so much so that many employees’ records are untraceable and the like which all were probed into by a committee led to its finally getting wound up as the then State Government could not sustain a loss incurring enterprise on a permanent basis. A loss incurring enterprise must soon take drastic measures to reverse and overcome the causes of making losses, introduce necessary reforms and restart earning profits otherwise it must be closed . Three years ago , therefore, the Government decided to wind up JAKFED as it was observed that there were minimal chances of its revival and since it had to foot the salary bill of 224 or more employees which it could not despite for many years the Government lending its support to it. With more than Rs.107 crore as its liabilities , JAKFED , however, had its assets , both movable and immovable, which after being evaluated to be around Rs.100 crore , in the event of being sold out, which is certain , could liquidate most of its liabilities. Having decided about that, the main problem of the staff was proposed to be addressed by bringing them under the VRS option. Alternately, these employees were required to be ”adjusted” in other Government Departments on the same pay and with the same rank or cadre status. Of course, some type of filtration had to be done to keep those employees out of the purview of getting any benefits or continuation in service who were found beyond doubt having indulged in rampant corrupt practices contributing to bringing down the JAKFED to the levels of meriting its total closure . Since the winding up orders were formally issued by the Government following the decision taken by the then State Administrative Council in the year 2019, and a committee was to be constituted by the Cooperative Department to look into the entire gamut of winding up process and its subsequent exercise and activities , no serious attention seems to having been paid towards it. However, on perusal of the present status of JAKFED, it is found that neither its assets have been caused to be sold under the prescribed procedure and the proceeds thereof utilised to extinguish larger portion of liabilities nor the most important aspect of what to do with the employees has been decided about. How long can such an undecided and on deferral mode approach be justified in respect of once a premier institution of the J&K Cooperative Department ? In other words, these three years have witnessed no development in catering to the requirements of post winding up process. Registrar Cooperative Societies had to do the liquidation process but as on date, nothing concrete is evident to have taken place. No doubt, the market price of immovable assets is generally always on the rise and many concerns / enterprises have shown inclination to buy few of such assets but reportedly since most of such assets have title chain ambiguities and other land related problems , these assets could not be disposed of . What is , therefore, needed is to have a serious and result oriented approach to address various humps coming in the way of concluding the entire process and all the factors of winding up of JAKFED which includes deciding the fate of the employees as well.