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RBI approves Chhibber’s appointment as interim CMD JK Bank

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Jun 10: Jammu & Kashmir Bank Monday said it has received RBI’s approval for appointment of R K Chhibber as its interim CMD for three months.
Chhibber, Executive President of J&K Bank, was appointed following removal of Parvez Ahmed as CMD of the bank by the Jammu & Kashmir administration.
Ahmed was allegedly involved in corruption, nepotism and favouritism.
“We wish to intimate that the bank has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India for the appointment of R K Chhibber as interim Chairman & Managing Director of the bank for a period of three months with effect from June 10, 2019,” J&K Bank said in a regulatory filing.
Ahmed’s removal is part of action taken by Anti Corruption Bureau, which was established a few months ago in the state.
On Saturday, the bank said subject to approval of the RBI, the board has appointed Chhibber as the interim CMD with effect from June 8, 2019.
“Consequent to this Parvez Ahmed ceases to be Director and Chairman/CEO of the bank from June, 8 2019,” the bank said last week.
Chhibber, along with management team of the bank, is holding a conference call with investors of the bank on Monday about the steps to be taken for improving the profitability of the bank.
Ahmed was appointed as Chairman and CEO of J&K Bank in October 2016 and his tenure was to end in a few months.
Jammu & Kashmir government holds 59 per cent stake in J&K Bank.
The bank reported 129 per cent growth in net profit for 2018-19 fiscal at Rs 465 crore as against Rs 202 crore in the previous fiscal.
Last fiscal, the lender had total business of Rs 1.62 lakh crore, comprising deposits of Rs 89,638 crore and gross advances of Rs 72,226 crore. The business was up 14 per cent from Rs 1.42 lakh crore a year ago.
Gross and net non-performing assets (NPAs) of the bank fell to 8.97 per cent and 4.89 per cent respectively at March-end 2019, compared to 9.96 per cent and 4.90 per cent a year ago.
Stock of the bank was trading down nearly 15 per cent at Rs 50.55 on the BSE.

Chhibber meets Guv
‘JK Bank shall continue to march ahead’
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Jun 10: R K Chibber, Interim Chairman J&K Bank, met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Monday.
Governor and Chibber discussed several important issues pertaining to the efficient functioning of the bank.
He urged Chibber to ensure close monitoring of the fiscal health of the Bank and stressed the high importance of maintaining discipline amongst its functionaries to nurture transparency and accountability.
Later in the day, Chhibber said that the business processes of the bank shall continue to be further streamlined and the bank shall win complete trust of its various stakeholders. It shall continue to march ahead towards higher levels of excellence.
He stated this to the investors in his first conference call about the business process improvements in the bank, which he said would continue as per the policies laid down by the bank’s board.
Representing the Government, which is the major shareholder in the bank, Financial Commissioner, Finance, J&K Government Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta also interacted with the investors during the conference call.
On the occasion, Chairman and Managing Director, RK Chhibber said, “Information systems of the bank are already robust. Succession planning would be strengthened along with oversight of the board for reduction of risk and improvement of the bank’s regulatory rating”,
He also informed them about the proposed separation of posts of Chairman and Managing Director as per the RBI regulations and SEBI guidelines. The Chief Compliance Officer has been tasked to enhance the preventive vigilance mechanism and the accountability processes.
Referring to recent change at the level of CMD, the investors and all other stakeholders were assured that it was part of restructuring processes. He asserted, “the raids of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will have no financial implications on the bank as these are based on complaints.”
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta also reassured the investors that the government’s unflinching support to the bank shall continue. He said that several steps have been taken to enhance the trust of people in the Bank aimed at improving transparency, accountability, and responsiveness. The Government is committed to make the Bank as one of the best performing banks in the country and developments in recent months should be seen in this perspective.

 
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Defunct street lights? Don’t expect SMC to fix them

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Srinagar, Jun 17: Srinagar plunges into darkness soon after sunset as most of the street lights in the capital city are defunct.

This being so since Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) claims it is incapable to deal with the issue.

In absence of this basic facility, the city residents face a lot of inconvenience moving out of their homes to the markets or masjids during the evening and early morning hours.

 

Cases of burglary and dog-bites have been reported from many secluded areas where residents complain of either having defunct or no street lights.

People living in many of these poorly-lit areas feel scared to venture out of their homes in late hours.

“I prefer not to leave my home after Isha namaz. Dogs chase passersby since there is no street light in this colony,” said Bashir Ahmed, 60, a resident of Illahibagh.

SMC claims it has installed more than 40,000 street lights across the city. However, majority of them remain dysfunctional due to lack of an established electric division and less technical manpower in the corporation.

Executive Engineer SMC, Qazi Imtiyaz who looks after the Mechanical division, said: “We have nothing. Zero manpower to look after the technical faults of street lights. There is no electric division in our corporation.”

SMC Commissioner, Khursheed Ahmad Sanai said: “SMC lacks an established electric division as well as skilled staff to mend defunct street lights in Srinagar. But we are constantly making up to illuminate more areas through whatever little staff is available to us.”

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RKFC signs top English striker

More signings to follow; Club on track to become India’s football powerhouse

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Jun 17: J&K’s premier football club, Real Kashmir FC, has signed an experienced striker from England to play for the team in the upcoming season.

Announcing on RKFC’s official Twitter handle, the club management wrote: “RKFC is delighted to announce the signing of Kallum Higginbotham from Dunfermline Athletic, Scotland. Kallum is an experienced striker who has played at the highest level in the UK. Kallum has played for top teams such as Huddersfield Town, Kilmarnock, and Motherwell.”

Former Kilmarnock frontman, Kallum, who’s originally from Salford, England, will join the club in the third week of July, club sources told The Kashmir Monitor.

 

With Rangers legend David Robertson training the team, Kallum will be the second European player to play for RKFC after the coach’s son Mason.

The club finished third in the I-League last season in their first campaign in the top flight.

Terming it as an important signing, club’s co-owner, Sandeep Chattoo said: “Today’s signing of Kallum shows our intent that we mean business. We will leave no stone unturned to make RKFC a powerhouse of football not just in India but Asia. In coming days we will unveil more top signings. As a co-owner, I want to tell the fans that we will do whatever we can to play top class breathtaking football next season. RKFC is not just a football team. It’s the heartbeat of the state. For me personally it’s a project. We have just completed phase one. Lot more to follow.”

Head Coach David Robertson had a similar viewpoint on Kallum’s inclusion in the club: “Signing player of Kallum’s experience and quality is a huge statement and shows continued ambition of Real Kashmir. He will give us an extra edge upfront and can also play in various roles within the team. Our team is shaping up nicely and we are all eager and excited for the start of the new campaign.”

President J&K Football Association, Zameer Thakur congratulated the team on the signing.

“We welcome this signing and hope that RKFC will not just maintain but improve its last season’s performance in the upcoming one,” he told The Kashmir Monitor. 

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Overall nuclear arms decline but India, Pak, China expanding arsenal

Press Trust of India

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Stockholm, Jun 17: The overall number of nuclear warheads in the world has declined in the past year but nations are modernising their arsenals, a report published Monday said.

At the start of 2019, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea had a total of some 13,865 nuclear weapons, according to estimates in a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

That represents a decrease of 600 nuclear weapons compared to the start of 2018.

 

But at the same time all nuclear weapon-possessing countries are modernising these arms ¬– and China, India and Pakistan are also increasing the size of their arsenals.

“The world is seeing fewer but newer weapons,” Shannon Kile, director of the SIPRI Nuclear Arms Control Programme and one of the report’s authors, told AFP.

The drop in recent years can mainly be attributed to the US and Russia, whose combined arsenals still make up more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

This is in part due to the countries fulfilling their obligations under the New START treaty — which puts a cap on the number of deployed warheads and was signed by the US and Russia in 2010 — as well as getting rid of obsolete warheads from the Cold War era.

The START treaty is however due to expire in 2021, which Kile said was worrying since there are currently “no serious discussions underway about extending it”.

Next year the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) — considered the cornerstone of the world’s nuclear order — turns 50.

The number of nuclear arms has been drastically reduced since a peak in the mid-1980s when there were some 70,000 nuclear warheads in the world.

While Kile said progress should not be underestimated, he also noted a number of worrying trends, such as the build-up of nuclear arms on both sides of the border between India and Pakistan, and the danger of a conventional conflict escalating to a nuclear one.

There is also a more general trend towards an “increased salience” of nuclear weapons, where changing strategic doctrines, particularly in the US, are giving nuclear weapons an expanded role in both military operations and national security dialogue, Kile said.

“I think the trend is moving away from where we were five years ago, where the world’s nuclear weapons were being marginalised,” Kile said.

Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently urged nuclear powers to “get serious” about disarmament and warned there was a “very real risk” that decades of work on international arms control could collapse following the US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal, which he said sent the wrong signal to North Korea.

Global disarmament efforts also suffered a blow when the United States announced in February it would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, prompting Russia to say it would also suspend its participation.

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