SRINAGAR, SEP 12: The Government today signed an MoU with J&K Bank facilitating categorization of the state government employees as preferential clientsof the Bank entitled to slew of benefits under various banking facilities.
The MoU was signed by Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary on behalf of J&K Government and Chairman& CEO J&K Bank Parvez Ahmad.
Speaking on the occasion, Navin termed the MoU as a significant arrangement which will further strengthen the relationship between the State and the Bank. He said J&K Bank isa unique financial institution it is the only bank in the country where the state government is a shareholder. “Not only the State government but all the government employee are the shareholders of the Bank,” he said.
Navin said the government will provide updated and verified data from its Centralized Personalized Information System (CPIS) about all the employees to the Bank, which will help the later to provide various facilities to the employees at ease and without need of further verification.
The Principal Secretary Finance appreciated the Bank for its outstanding performance and being the first and only listed large company in the State. He said the Bank is far ahead of other financial institutions when it comes to Credit Deposit Ratio which stands at 74% as against below 50% ratio of other banks operating in the State.
On the occasion, Navin Choudhary called on the Bank to further upgrade its facilities in line with world class banking. He asked them to resolve the issue of non-working of JK Bank card on various online platforms so that people derive all facilities from the bank cards.
Giving details of the MoU, Chairman J&K Bank said around 4.5 lakh State Government employees comprise Bank’s largest client base and the latest arrangement will further strengthen the bonds between the two institutions.
Giving details, he said the Secretariat employees will receive discount of 75 percentage basis point and other state government employees will get discount of 50 percentage point while availing loans from the bank. Furthermore, after applying for loan facility via Bank’s App or on phone, the loan will be credited to beneficiary account in as little as two hours’ time. “The employees don’t even need to visit any branch of the bank and all loan processing charges will be waived off,” said Parvez. “There will be no fee for opening of bank account and added facilities include maintaining zero balance account, free debit card, free online banking, concession on transaction fee, enhanced ATM usage etc.He said the employees will also get discounted locker facility ranging from zero fee to fifty percent discount.
The Chairman said that 35 percent of bank’s State portfolio which amounts to around Rs 6000 crore comes from the government employees and the MoU is aimed to derive mutual benefits and increase the portfolio size. He said the bank has already put a similar mechanism in pace JK Police and has successfully increased the client base from 25000 to 45000 among the police department only.
Chairman said JK Bank is committed to the socio-economic development of the State and it believes in carrying its people ahead in the march of progress. “When the people progress and State develops, the Bank will automatically achieve newer heights,” said the Chairman.
The meeting was attended by a number of officials, representatives of various departments and banks.
Bijbehara: 40 polling booths with zero votes
Bijbehara, Apr 23: Home turf of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Bijbehara assembly segment under the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, reported highest concentration of polling stations where zero votes were cast.
Among the 65 booths in Anantnag where zero votes were cast, 40 were located in Bijbehara, one of the six assembly constituencies where voting took place in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections Tuesday.
People cast their votes in 714 polling stations in Anantnag. Bijbehara, the home constituency of PDP president Mufti, had 120 polling booths set up for a population of 93,289 people.
A total of 1,893 electorate or 2 per cent exercised their franchise when the polling ended at 4 pm. The voting time for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat was reduced in view of security considerations. The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, where voting took place in the first phase, saw 17 polling stations with zero while the Srinagar Parliamentary seat, which went to polls in the second phase, recorded zero votes in 90 booths.
Polling in Anantnag, which has 16 assembly seats, has been divided into three phases. The first phase was completed on Tuesday while remaining two will be held on April 29 and May 6. The decision for staggered polling was taken keeping in view the security situation in South Kashmir which has seen many encounters between security forces and militants.
On February 14, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a miliant attack in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Clubbing of booths kept voters away
Srinagar, Apr 23: The clubbing of the polling booths in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency Tuesday discouraged many voters, who preferred to stay at home rather than walking long distances to cast their votes.
District Anantnag, which went for polls first in the three-phased schedule Tuesday, recorded 13.63 voter turnouts in six segments including Anantnag, Dooru, Kokernag, Shangus, Bijbehara and Pahalgam.
Scores of the voters said that many gave up their plans to cast vote after authorities announced clubbing of the polling booths in the constituency.
In Lisser Chawalgam village of Kokernag segment, at least three polling stations catering to different locations were accommodated in a local higher secondary school.
It included polling station of Shalnaad village as well, which is at least three kilometers away from the station.
Those who casted their votes claimed that they had to enter secretly into the booth as the area had witnessed stone pelting.
“More people could have come to vote if the locations of the polling booths were not changed at the last moment. Many women didn’t cast their votes as they too had to travel kilometres to reach to the polling station,” said a voter, who had come from Shalnaad to cast his vote at higher secondary school Lisser.
Similarly polling booths in rural areas of Anantnag, Pahalgam too were clubbed, which reportedly affected the voting percentage of these areas.
“South Kashmir usually witnesses low voting percentage. The change in the location of polling booths has further the participation,” said a polling officer.
National Conference Candidate for Anantnag, Retired Justice Hasnain Masoodi, told The Kashmir Monitor that the clubbing of the polling booth was the main reason behind the low voting percentage in many areas.
“The polling booths of Jeshnaad and Makawora have been accommodated in government buildings, which are five to eight kilometers away from these villages. It has made the entire voting exercise inconvenient for the people,” he said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier also said that clubbing of the polling stations for Parliament elections in Jammu and Kashmir will affect the participation of people in the elections.
Security bandobast not up to the mark: Mir
Srinagar, Apr 23: The Congress Candidate from Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency Ghulam Ahmad Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit.
Mir, in a statement, also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that “the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.”
“I express my gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag,” he said saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free.
Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag.
“The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir,” he said.
Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident-free elections.