NC, AIP demand rollback of decision to treat J&K Bank as PSU
Srinagar: The National Conference (NC) took out a protest march here Monday demanding an end to civilian killings and rollback of the Governor administration’s decision to treat the J&K Bank as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik approved last Thursday the proposal for treating the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited as a PSU.
According to officials, the SAC approved that the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009 shall be applicable to the bank like other PSUs. Besides, the bank shall follow CVC guidelines.
On Monday, led by party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, NC workers and leaders carried out the protest march from the party headquarters Nawa-i-Subah and shouted slogans against the government to protest the killing of civilians and the move concerning the J&K bank.
The protest culminated at the corporate headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank on M A Road here.
Speaking to reporters, Sagar said “a war has been waged against the unarmed Kashmiris”.
“A 20-month-old infant is being targeted with pellets who is on the brink of losing eyesight. We too are humans and should be treated like ones. The killing of innocents in Kashmir is further alienating Kashmiris,” he said, asking the government to stop such killings.
On the recent decision on the J&K Bank, the NC general secretary said the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was “under attack”.
“First, they attacked our financial autonomy through GST regime and now by turning J&K bank into a PSU. The people of Kashmir would not tolerate any such attack on our autonomy,” Sagar said.
Meanwhile, Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) led by Sheikh Abdul Rashid held a sit-in here Monday to protest the decision to treat the J&K Bank as a PSU.
Scores of AIP workers holding placards in their hands assembled outside the J&K Bank corporate office and shouted slogans against the SAC decision.
Talking to reporters, Rashid said the Governor “has no constitutional and moral mandate to bulldoze” the autonomy and credibility of the J&K Bank.
“While no other state government owns a bank, the J&-K bank is an exception. Turning it into PSU means not only eroding its autonomous character, but laying a roadmap to make it like any other failed PSU,” he said.
Rashid said increasing the role of the state government in controlling the bank would create too many issues and it would become like “a concubine of politicians and bureaucrats”.
“Bringing the J-K Bank under RTI has both positive and negative ramifications and measures must be taken to ensure that bringing J-K Bank under RTI helps in bringing accountability and transparency in the bank rather creating more issues,” he said.
The AIP president asked when other commercial banks do not have to submit their annual reports to Parliament, why should the J&K Bank be “left to the mercy of state legislature”?
“The decision is politically motivated and desperate attempt to bulldoze the autonomy of the bank. Let people not forget that Governor’s statement over backdoor recruitment in J&K Bank was more aimed at clearing the barriers to take control of the bank by the government and less related to the backdoor entries,” he said.
He said the decision would badly hamper the functioning of the bank and even ordinary customers would start losing faith in the credibility, integrity and efficiency of the bank.
He appealed for a vast consensus between various political parties and trade organizations to force the Governor regime to rollback the decision.