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

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.