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Says former Fin Min: ‘SAC decision disastrous for JK Bank’

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Srinagar, Nov 26: Former finance minister and senior National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather on Monday said the recent State Administrative Council (SAC) decision on J&K Bank will facilitate “undue interference in the bank’s working which will prove disastrous for the premier institution as evidenced by the other PSUs of the State.”

In a statement issued on Monday, Rather said it was quite shocking to know that the J&K Bank, an efficient, viable and profitable institution, has been reduced to a public sector undertaking.

“I fail to analyse the purpose and reason underlying such a decision,” Rather said.

 

Right from its inception since 1938, he said, the bank has been a strong partner in the economic and social development of the State.

“Besides, its role in employment generation, direct as well as indirect, has been quite commendable. The bank has been rendering services par excellence. This fact has been reckoned and recognised by one and all in the banking industry till date. Every government and political dispensation in the State has been whole-heartedly supporting the bank, its businesses model and the management for improved efficiency. The outcome of such policies has been translated on the ground for everybody to see,” he said, in the statement.

Commenting further on the bank’s performance, Rather said the comprehensive and competitive performance of the bank viz-a-viz other commercial banks and financial institutions would indicate the overall role and scope of J&K Bank in the state economy.

“A reference to SLBC data for last four to five decades corroborates and reveals the same. It may be seen that J&K Bank has contributed 65% to overall credit growth as against 35% put in by other 50 banks and financial institutions operative in the State. J&K Bank has undoubtedly been a commercial resort for all sections of the population in the State. It has notably done exemplary hand holding of the poor artisans and farmers. Moreover, it has spread the network of its branches in other parts of the country and its performance there also has been appreciated by all the concerned,” Rather pointed out.

But unfortunately, the former finance minister said, while deciding to reduce its stature to that of a PSU, all these services and the high role of the bank have been ignored.

“Against the above facts, I would urge upon the Honourable State Governor to appreciate all these facts and revoke the decision in order to ensure that the J&K Bank continues to function for the betterment of the state smoothly,” Rather added.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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