Governor SP Malik Backpedals On J&K Bank Recruitments 

JAMMU — Stating that corruption and “other problems” are plaguing Jammu and Kashmir,  Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday praised J&K Bank by calling it a wonderful institution and said that whatever he was told by J&K Bank officials about the “recruitment mess” was not “gospel truth.”

“Some youth and bank officials came to meet me at Raj Bhawan and told me about the irregularities in the recruitment process for the appointments made by the bank. But, whatever they told me was not the Gospel truth. Things will come to the fore only after an enquiry,” he said in his first media interaction in Jammu.

He said that he and the secretary of the bank have given directions to the subordinate staff for ensuring smooth functioning of the bank.

“JK Bank is doing a great business. It is a wonderful institution and we will ensure it functions properly,” he said.

He however hit out at those who blame him for “defaming Kashmiris” by talking about “corruption”, saying those engaged in corruption are the ones defaming the people of the state.

“If any political leader says I am defaming Kashmiris by talking about corruption in Kashmir, it is wrong,” Malik told reporters at Raj Bhawan here. 

” Rather, those engaged in corruption in the state are defaming Kashmiris,” he asserted.

Malik made the remarks in response to a query over some state political leaders’ statements that the governor was defaming Kashmiris by talking on news channels about “huge corruption” in the state.

The governor has been facing insinuations that his anti-graft remarks while taking stringent measures against the malady are defaming Kashmiris.

Malik recently cancelled over 550 political appointments in J&K Bank and struck down a government deal with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance General Insurance for mandatory health insurance of government employees and pensioners.

The governor said in his short tenure of over two months, he has not only understood the menace of corruption plaguing Kashmir, but other problems as well.

He said he learnt about the problem of corruption by talking to various stakeholders, including children and youths, and “not through the officers”.

“I will try to resolve the problem with honesty and dedication,” he said.

Talking of the huge financial disparity among the people of the state, the governor said the situation pains him.

“If corruption stops in Kashmir, the poor will be benefitted,” he said.

The Peoples Democratic Party Sunday questioned the governor’s recent observation on corruption in the state, saying his frequent remarks on it end up defaming Kashmiris and the state’s institutions and make “every Kashmiri appear a thief”.

Senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar had said it was “regrettable” that the governor often made “sweeping statements” in media about corruption in the state and whatever he learns about it during “discharge of his official duties”.

It is very unfortunate that he is even grudging the people of Kashmir having a house. Going by his statements, it appears anybody who has a house in Kashmir – big or small – has to be dishonest,” Akhtar had said.

“The system demands that rather than making sweeping statements about the entire populace of Kashmir, he should have a list of suspects against whom action is initiated and inquiry held,” he said.

It would be advisable for the governor to first ask his accountability apparatus to take action and establish guilt before going to the media, he said.

Bringing ‘Good Name’ Of JKB Into Controversies Unwarranted: KCCI

The KCC&I on Monday termed the bringing of “good name” of J&K Bank into controversies as unwarranted and unfortunate. 

The spokesman of the KCCI said that the JK Bank is an important and cherished institution of State and had always played an critical role in supporting the business community in difficult times. 

“The sovereign character of this important institution is an asset of all people of the State and needed to be duly protected,” the KCCI said, adding, it was watching the developments closely and “a detailed reaction would follow.”

Some Forces Hell Bent To Defame JKB: KEA

Stating that J&K Bank is the collective asset of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the Kashmir Economic Alliance Chairman Yasin Khan on Wednesday that this financial institution should not be politicized.

In a statement, Khan who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, said for quite some time efforts are being made to “politicize and demonize” J&K Bank in one way or the other only to meet nefarious designs of some vested interests.

 “Some forces are hell bent to defame the bank as a part of the larger conspiracy to deprive the people of Jammu and Kashmir of their assets by making drastic changes that may look good at the face of it but will have far reaching consequences,” Khan said. The KEA said it was encouraging that in the last few quarters the bank has shown growth, when other such financial institutions have been witnessing a fall in their assets across south Asian region.

“At a time when we should appreciate our bank we are joining ranks of those who want to defame it to meet their larger designs against the interests of this state,” he said.

Asking the political setup, the civil society and the business community to rise to the occasion, Khan said safeguard of the J&K Bank and its interests should be basic priorities of every state subject.

“Time has come that we all join hands to safeguard our collective asset, our own bank, the J&K Bank,” Khan said.

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