Issues Of J&K Bank’s Transparency Must Be Addressed: Tarigami

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SRINAGAR — Welcoming Governor Satya Pal Malik’s assurance of safeguarding the autonomy and operational independence of the J&K Bank, CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami on Wednesday said the issues of accountability and transparency must be addressed.

Last month, Malik-led State Administrative Council (SAC) approved a proposal for treating the J&K Bank Limited as a PSU, bringing it under the purview of the Right to Information Act, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner guidelines and the state legislature.

The move has come under widespread criticism. A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Bank employees met Malik on Tuesday, following which he agreed to rethink the decision.

“It is good that representatives of the bank employees and the governor’s administration met and the issues have been clarified, which is a welcome step,” Tarigami said in a statement.

He said certain concerns, however, remained regarding transparency and accountability. 

The CPI(M) leader said these issues must be specifically addressed as the people of the state have the right to know about the bank’s affairs.

Tarigami said former state finance minister Haseeb Drabu had pointed out in his budget speech in the last assembly session that there have been some serious lapses in corporate governance and management failures over the last few years at the J&K Bank.

“Does such a disturbing situation not demand a thorough discussion and debate in the legislature? It also demands a credible probe to fix the responsibility and also allow the legislature to suggest remedial measures,” he said.

He added that the bank’s autonomy has to be protected but it should not be used as a pretext to promote big business defaulters at the cost of ordinary customers.

Tarigami said autonomy should strengthen the bank and called for a debate on its affairs in the legislature. 

Soz Supports Govt Decision To Extend RTI To JK Bank

Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader, Prof. Saifuddin Soz, Wednesday supported the recent decision of the government to extend the RTI Act to Jammu and Kashmir Bank.

In a statement he said that the safety and security of J&K Bank “should be the concern of every citizen of State and this concern seems to be intact.”

“I have satisfied myself that there is no threat to the concerns of the employees of the Bank. I would like to stress the fact that essentially, it is the depositor who should feel secure and satisfied and it is also a fact that they, the depositors, will feel satisfied only when the RTI Act will be made applicable to the Bank,” he said.

“It is so tragic that even after the comprehensive decision by the State’s Information Commission making RTI Act applicable to the bank on 24-04-2012, the Bank refused to agree to the application of the Act,” Soz said adding that the  “moot-point is that the depositors have always to feel satisfied that their deposits are safe.”

“It is after Nirav Modi cheated the PNB to the tune of Rs. 11000 crores and ran away abroad that we came to know that he had also cheated J&K Bank of Rs. 125 crores. Is that loss not related directly to the depositors of the J&K Bank?”

He however said that he doesn’t “agree with the constitutional reforms undertaken by the Governor as such reforms must be left for the elected government only.”

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