Jammu, Feb 21: J&K Bank on Wednesday convened 107th meeting of J&K State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) here at the conference centre of Hotel Radisson Blu, Jammu. The meeting was presided over by B. B. Vyas, Chief Secretary J&K Government.
Other prominent dignitaries who attended the meeting included Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development Department K. B. Aggarwal, Financial Commissioner Revenue Lokesh Dutt Jha, Principal Secretary Finance Navin Kumar Chaudhary, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India Thomas Mathew, Chief General Manager NABARD Vijay Kumar, Deputy Secretary, DFS, MoF, GoI A. K. Dogra, other senior functionaries of the State Government, banks, Insurance Companies, BSNL etc.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, representative of Divisional Commissioner Jammu and the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts also joined the meeting, few in person and remaining through Vedio conferencing.
Chairman, J&K Bank (Convenor, J&K SLBC) Parvez Ahmed expressed his gratitude to the Chief Secretary for his well-formed efforts to resolve various outstanding issues like allotment of land to RSETIs & FTCs, grant of exemption on stamp duty upto Rs.3.00 lakh on loans to SHGs/JLGs promoted by NABARD, etc.He Thanked the Chief Secretary for resolving large number of long pending issues of the forum and intiating well-founded programmes to accelerate the resolutions.
“The practice of integration of various stakeholders through vedio conferencing and other innovative initiatives by Chief Secretary are praiseworthy”, he said.
Briefing the House about the performance highlights, J&K Bank Chairman cum CEO and Convenor J&K SLBC, Parvez Ahmed said, “Banks operating in the State have extended a total credit of Rs.17,188.19 Crore in favour of 5,66,424 beneficiaries during the first three quarters of CFY ended 31st December, 2017 against annual target of Rs.28,841.64 Crore for 9,66,047 beneficiaries under Annual Credit Plan 2017-18, thereby registering achievement of 60% in financial terms and 59% in physical terms.
This includes Priority Sector credit of Rs.9,224.79 Crore disbursed in favour of 3,46,456 beneficiaries against the annual target of Rs.19,933.02 Crore for 7,40,847 beneficiaries (constituting 46% achievement in financial terms) and Non-priority sector credit of Rs.7,963.40 Crore disbursed in favour of 2,19,968 beneficiaries against annual target of Rs.8,908.62 Crore for 2,25,200 beneficiaries (constituting achievement of 89% in financial terms).
Notably, J&K Bank alone has disbursed Rs.12,319.61 Crore during the period under review, which makes for 72 pc of the total credit extended by the 43 banks and financial institutions operating in the State.
Commenting on the performance of banks in Government Sponsored Schemes (GSS) in the State, Parvez Ahmed said that against the Annual Action Plan 2017-18 target of Rs.539.40 Crore for 21,951 beneficiaries for all banks operating in the State, the achievement of banks under four major sponsored schemes viz. NRLM, PMEGP NULM and SC/ST/OBC stood at Rs.178.07 Crore for 8,035 beneficiaries in all the three regions of the State thereby achieving 33 pc of the target in financial terms and 37 pc in physical terms.
Performance under some major sub-sectors of Priority Sector:
Under Agriculture Sector the banks have provided credit aggregating Rs.4,295.52 Crore in favour of 2,25,552 beneficiaries upto 31st December 2017 thus registering an achievement of 56% in financial terms.
Under Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Sector, banks have disbursed total amount of Rs.3,816.77 Crore in favour of 93,039 beneficiaries thereby registering an achievement of 51% in financial terms.
Under Education Sector banks have disbursed an amount of Rs.107.85 Crore in favour of 5,375 beneficiaries registering an achievement of 24% in financial terms.
Under Housing Sector, banks have disbursed credit amounting to Rs.763.34 Crore in favour of 11,915 beneficiaries thereby registering an achievement of 29% in financial terms.
In order to facilitate dispensation of credit through mortgage loans and boost credit deployment to Housing and Education sectors, Chief Secretary directed all the Deputy Commissioners to complete the process of digitization of land records in a time bound manner.
Taking note of aggregate Credit Deposit Ratio of 49% of the State, the Chief Secretary directed all the stakeholders to work in a coordinated manner to ensure that Credit Deposit Ratio of 60% as prescribed by Governor, Reserve Bank of India, is achieved by the end of March, 2018. He also directed the Deputy Commissioners of the districts having CD Ratio less than 40%, to formulate necessary strategies so that the CD Ratio of these districts is substantially improved.
All concerned banks/ Government agencies were advised to operationalize all their designated branches/ centers for Aadhaar enrolment-cum-updation facility immediately. Banks were also directed to expedite the process of seeding of Aadhaar in bank accounts well before 31st March, 2018, so that people are not put to any inconvenience on this account.
House noted that 100% coverage of farmers under KCC Scheme has already been completed in Kashmir Division, but in Jammu division there is a pendency of 49000 cases. Chief Secretary emphasized that all the stakeholders should put in strenuous efforts to ensure that the process of 100% coverage is completed immediately in Jammu Division also.
Expressing concern that EBT Scheme has so far been implemented in only 16 districts of the State for IGNOAPS, all the stakeholders were directed to ensure that the process of validation of accounts in the remaining six districts of Budgam, Anantnag, Kulgam, Poonch, Reasi and Kathua is completed expeditiously, so that the entire State is brought under the ambit of EBT Scheme.
Principal Secretary Finance Navin Kumar Chowdhary emphasized that the targets set under the Annual Credit Plan should be in synchronization with the available potential. In this regard a Sub-Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief General Manager NABARD was constituted to finalize and approve the Annual Credit Plan for J&K State for FY 2018-19 so that the same is launched for implementation across the State w.e.f. April, 2018.
Chief Secretary impressed upon the banks and other agencies to work in tandem for economic upliftment of the J&K State, so that people of the State in general and the underprivileged sections of the society in particular are benefitted. He emphasized that while pursuing the targets allocated under the Annual Credit Plan, banks should focus more on achievement of targets under Priority Sector.
Rail service resumes
Srinagar, Nov 12: Rail services in Kashmir resumed on Tuesday – over three months after being suspended due to security reasons in view of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, officials said.
Few mini-buses also plied on the Batwara-Batamaloo route through the city centre, while inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws plied in the city and elsewhere in the valley.
Private transport was plying unhindered.
A railway official told PTI that a train chugged between Baramulla and Srinagar this morning.
He said the train made only two trips on the Baramulla-Srinagar stretch as authorities have directed Railways to ply trains between 10 am and 3 pm only due to security reasons.
The Railways conducted the trial run of the service on the stretch on Monday for the first time in over three months since the unannounced shutdown in the valley.
The official said the Srinagar-Banihal stretch of the railway line would resume in a few days after checking track safety and conducting trial runs.
The train service in the valley was suspended due to security reasons on the morning of 5 August – hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union territories.
The Centre’s decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley – which completed 100 days on Tuesday — even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which were later gradually eased out.
Markets have been following a new pattern of functioning, opening early morning till around the noon and then downing their shutters to join the protest against abrogation of the special status of the state, officials said.
They said miscreants are using fear mongering to put down any resistance to unannounced shutdown by threatening shopkeepers and businessmen.
The officials said two grenade attacks in the city’s busy Goni Khan market and Kaka Sarai areas were an indication that there were concerted efforts to keep the shutdown going.
Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August.
Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.
The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act.
Militant killed in Ganderbal gunfight
Srinagar, Nov 12: A militant was killed and an Army soldier injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday, police said.
Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Kulan area of the central Kashmir district in the morning following inputs about the presence of militants.
During the search, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces, who retaliated, according to an officer.
A militant was killed during the gunfight. An army soldier was also injured and rushed to a medical facility for treatment, the officer said.
The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the officer added.
The incident comes after the encounter where two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Monday morning, police said.
While one militant was killed on Sunday during a gunfight between security forces in Lawdara village, about 55 km from Srinagar, another was killed on Monday, police further said. The security forces started a search operation on getting information about the presence of some militants in the area which led to the encounter between the security forces and the militants.
The streak of encounters continues as the state of Kashmir remains under an unprecedented lockdown after the abrogation of article 370.
Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU
Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.
“I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.
Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.
An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry.
“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.
“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said.
Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.
Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply. Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.