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JK Bank officers to hold protests demanding roll back of SAC decision

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani




Srinagar, Nov 28: Jammu and Kashmir Bank Officers Federation on Wednesday said they will hold protests to press for revocation of State administrative council (SAC) order to convert J&K Bank into a public sector undertaking (PSU).

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, president of the Federation, Tassaduq Madni said a peaceful protest will be held on Thursday at the corporate office.

“We will hold a peaceful protest tomorrow (Thursday) at 9:30 am at the corporate office and another protest will be held at the zonal office of the bank on Friday,” he said.


He, however, said that the bank branches and ATMs will remain will function normally.

Madni said that they would be forced to continue protests if the order is not revoked.

“We will chalk out the further course of action as we are waiting for the final notification of the government about its decision,” he said.

The SAC which met in Jammu on November 23 approved the proposal for treating the J&K Bank as a Public Sector Undertaking.

While addressing media persons, Madni said that decision would be “destructive” and “disastrous” for the bank.

“J&K Bank right from its inception in 1938 has been laced with the challenges and difficulties. At the time of partition, in 1947 we lost Mirpur and Muzaffarabad branch to the other part,” he said.

Madni said that as far as the working of the bank is concerned, it witnessed huge turbulences and turmoil during its long journey.

“All the banks closed down their operations after militancy erupted in the valley. It was J&K Bank’s committed work force that continued to provide banking facilities to the business fraternity and people,” he said.

Stating that the employees have been working tirelessly for the betterment of the bank, he said that it needs to retain the stability at any cost.

“Due to September 2014 floods, business and infrastructure in Kashmir faced huge losses. It was J&K Bank which came to the rescue of the general public and the businessmen. We did everything possible to rehabilitate them,” he said.

Referring to the unrest of 2016, he said J&K Bank took a lead and restructured the business, wherever the support was deemed necessary to be provided to the business community.

“J&K Bank needs to maintain growth trajectory, whole banking industry received a huge setback during last many years. Many big banks vanished. Despite booking of loss of Rs 1632 after the closure of financial year 2016-17, J&K Bank came out with flying colours,”he said.

He said that “to stop the interference of the government, we are ready to handover the equity.”

“We were sure that government would hand over the loss making PSUs to J&K Bank. We had never thought that J&K Bank itself would be converted to a PSU. Government has 53.9% stake in the bank. What about others. How can we take them for granted,” he said.



Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.

In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.

Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.


Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.

After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.

Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.

“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them,” recounts Sami Ullah.

The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.

However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.

The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.

The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order.  It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.

At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.

They have five people working for them.

The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.

They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.

The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.

The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.

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No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday



Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.


In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt



Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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January 2019
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