Srinagar, Nov 29: Jammu and Kashmir Bank (JKB) employees on Thursday staged a protest here against the State Administrative Council’s order declaring the bank a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
State Administrative Council (SAC) which met at Jammu on November 23 under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik in a significant decision approved the proposal for treating the JKB as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
Carrying placards, the employees while raising slogans in favour of their demands, said the SAC’s decision would not be acceptable to them at any cost.
“The employees have been working tirelessly, putting their best for the growth of the bank. Every financial institution needs conductive atmosphere to prosper. The stability needs to be retained,” said a protesting employee.
The protest was carried out under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Bank Employees Federation (AJKBEF).
President AJKBEF, Tasaduk Madni, while addressing the media, said the decision would be “disastrous” and “destructive” for the bank.
Madni said they would continue with the protests till the decision was not taken back.
President Jammu and Kashmir Bank Officers Association (JKBOA), Kashmir, Mehraj-ud-din Shah, demanded revocation of the order at an earliest.
“We would fight for its revocation with all our might and would continue our protests till the order is revoked. We had never thought that JKB would be converted to a PSU. On Friday, the employees would hold the protest at their respective Zonal Offices,” he said.
Meanwhile, Industrialists from Khanmouh while terming the decision as “unfortunate” threatened to hit the streets, in case the order was not revoked by Monday.
“As a mark of protest, we would close down our units on Saturday. We believe that the day is not far away when JKB would be merged with some other bank,” said the Senior Vice President Industrial Association Khanmouh, Kaisar Shahid, in a presser.
Industrialists attribute move as ‘economic terrorism’
Srinagar, Nov 29: Industrialists Association Khunmoh (IAK) on Thursday termed the recent decision of the Governor-led State Administrative Council (SAC) to turn JK Bank into a Public Service Undertaking (PSU) as ‘economic terrorism,’ and threatened to hit the streets in case the order was not revoked by Monday.
Addressing a press conference, IAK members including Kaiser Shahid Sr Vice president, Yasir Khan Vice president, Imran Murataza General Secretary, Shaheem Khan Secretary Finance and Javaid Ah Lone Secretary said that the recent decision taken by the government to reduce JK Bank as PSU was ‘economic terrorism’, and would not be accepted by the people across the State.
Giving ultimatum to the government on revoking the decision till Saturday, the IAK said that the Industrialists will observe shutdown on Saturday (December 01) and in case the decision won’t be revoked they would hit the streets by Monday.
Seeking roll back of SAC decision on J&K bank, IAK members said that they are apprehensive that the bank will be merged with any other bank soon in case the decision will not be revoked. They added that they are in favour of JK Bank’s transparency, but let the government come up with benefits of turning it to PSU.
They said that since its inception in 1938, JK bank enjoyed its economic freedom and attains important position in the society of J&K with its hard work, honesty and integrity. It adds value to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and supports native industries of J&K as the bank is the main institution providing financial support to industries, they said.
They said that down gradating of prime important financial institute of state to bring at par with other state owned institutes, will only reduce it to loss making institutions like SRTC, J&K cements, J&KTDC.
“The model proposed by Government of India for treating J&K bank as PSU is a failure model as out of 21 PSU in India, 17 are loss making,” they said, adding that JK bank is the only bank owned by its state, which is a special privilege to this state, and by making it PSU is a simple erosion of economic freedom and special status of Kashmir.
Pakistan militant held, vehicle siezed in Pattan
Srinagar, April 22: A Pakistani millitant and a driver were arrested by government forces at Chainabal area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.
Official sources told GNS that a joint team of Army’s 29, SOG and CRPF stop a Mahindra car (DL 12 CA 4189). During searches the joint team apprehended two persons boarding the vehicle including the militant and the driver.
The vehicle has also been seized while as the Pakistani militant identified as Aqib alias Chota Dujana and driver namely Tafazul of Srinagar were taken to Police Station Pattan for further questioning.
A police officer also confirmed the incident to GNS but declined to commit further.
Traders protest in Srinagar against suspension of cross-LoC trade
Srinagar Apr 22: Traders affected by the suspension of cross-LoC trade by the Centre held a protest march in Srinagar on Monday.
Scores of traders engaged in cross-LoC trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route demanded revocation of the suspension order, and sought a fool-proof mechanism for smooth operations.
The traders claimed that suspension of the trade had cost them losses over crores of rupees as their goods were either in transit or lying in godowns.
President, LoC traders Association Tanveer Ahmad Wani claimed each trader had a huge liability in the form of loans from banks and pending stocks at home.
He demanded the resuming of the trade in order to avoid their losses ahead. “The wholesale dealers have started asking for payments as they realized that the trade has been closed indefinitely. We are in a very difficult situation as our entire tradable items, which mostly includes fruits have not arrived at trade facilitation center in Uri, which we could sell to earn livelihood,” he said.
Wani informed a delegation of the LoC traders met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday adding they are planning to visit MHA office in New Delhi in coming week with their grievances.
“We have no choice other than to commit suicide. It is not only concerning traders but transporters and labourers who have been associated with this trade for the last 10 years,” he said.
Another trader Tanveer Ahmad Mir, who runs business in the name of Kako importers and exporters, said the LoC trade suspension has involved his rupees four crores alone.
“The transaction, which is based on barter system has not happened yet. I am worried about the pending payment for the month to my dealers. Presently stock of stocks of embroidery suits and other items are lying in my store,” he said.
Mir said the government should have intimidated them ahead of announcing this decision to avoid their losses.
“The work regarding installation of full body scanner is going on. Other facilities have also been set up to ensure transparency. The government should continue the trade besides installing advanced mechanism ahead,” he said.
Mohammad Haneef, a 28 years old postgraduate who has been working as a labourer for the last eight years at Trade Facilitation Centre is equally worried with the suspension of the trade.
He said many like him joined as labourers after finding no employment opportunities in the government sector despite an academic qualifications.
“This was the only means to earn bread for our families, which too has been snatched now. There are no good avenues of employment in Uri and we fear our families will have to starve ahead,” he said.
Time to review Article 370, 35A in J&K: Rajnath Singh
Jaipur Apr 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India’s stand against militancy has been weakened on several occasions by the Congress party.
Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “They (Congress) have given a new theory of Hindu militancy. There is no religion or caste of militancy. Their new theory weakened India’s stand against militancy.”
He said repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was another such case which undermined India’s stand.
“In 2004, India had an agreement with Pakistan in which its former army chief had assured that the country will not provide shelter and allow militancy to flourish on its soil, but Congress tried weakening India’s stand, saying Pakistan was also a victim of militancy,” he said.
The home minister said the opposition was doing politics over issues which should not be politicised.
Instead of praising the defence forces after the airstrike in Balakot of Pakistan, the opposition parties questioned it with queries on number of militants killed, he said.
“When such types of questions are asked, it weakens India’s stand against militancy,” he said.
Speaking on the Congress’ election manifesto promising to scrap the sedition law, Singh said the law should be further strengthened but it should not be misused.
Talking about Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was a temporary arrangement and it was time to review it.
“How much the entitlement benefitted Jammu and Kashmir? When a few people are raising questions there should be two prime ministers in the country then what is the significance of Article 370 and 35A,” Singh asked.
He exuded confidence that the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections reflected a wave in favour of the BJP, and there was no doubt the party will get a clear majority and possibly the NDA will achieve 3/4th majority.