J&K Bank’s Azadi ‘Assured’ But No Roll Back Of PSU Tag


SRINAGAR — Amid row over Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s tag as Public Sector Undertaking (PSU),  Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday categorically assured that no changes are intended in the financial status and independence of the state’s premier institution.  However, there was no roll back of the decisions by the State’s Administrative Council, highest decision making body, decision on regarding the bank on PSU and RTI among others.   

The governor was responding to apprehensions expressed by a cross-section of the society and the bank’s staff and a statement issued by the state government said: “As far as the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) matter was concerned, the J&K Bank is regulated (i) by RBI as an old generation private sector bank, (ii) by the Registrar of Companies as it is a Government Company under Companies Act and (iii) by SEBI as it is a listed company. “It will continue to be regulated by the RBI, SEBI and the Registrar of Companies. No changes are being made here or contemplated.”

The governor said J&K Bank is a premier institution of the state and its financial health and future growth is of utmost importance to Jammu & Kashmir.  

“Therefore, the Government would support all initiatives and take necessary steps to make the J&K Banka vibrant Institution.”

He said the employees should not be concerned about their employment, future prospects or salary structure under any circumstances.  “The Board of the bank is competent to take decisions in this regard and the powers vest in the Board. No changes are being contemplated on this front.”

J&K Bank, he said, is registered as a Government Company under the Companies Act. The word PSU has no legal connotation. “J&K Bank continues to be a Government Owned company. No new changes are being made here.”

As a Government Company, he said, J&K Bank is a Public Authority under the Right to Information Act (RTI) and hence is automatically subject to the transparency provisions of RTI.  “Nothing new is being imposed in this regard. Transparency is good for the bank in the long term.”

As far as the accountability to the legislature is concerned, he said, all Government Owned/Controlled Companies, including J&K Bank which is registered as a Government Company, are accountable to the legislature in some respect. 

“This is what has been stated in the SAC decision. This does not add any new element.  However, in view of the concerns expressed, and to give comfort to employees, the government will re-examine the issue of accountability to legislature.”

Finally, the governor said, the Board of the Bank is the appropriate forum for taking and implementing all decisions of J&K Bank. Safeguarding the autonomy and operational independence of the bank is key objective of the government at all times.


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