JAMMU – Former finance minister Syed Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday sought Lt Governor G C Murmu’s intervention to end the “bureaucratic approach” at the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, which is harassing the business community over recovering of loans.
He said the kind of approach adopted by the bank to recover loans has put the traders and other business communities on the edge.
The Jammu and Kashmir Bank is one of the most iconic institutions of the UT but regrettably its “bureaucratic approach” is continuing to plague its functioning, Bukhari said in a statement issued here.
“The government has forgotten that the bank needs to be run professionally and all its decisions need to be taken by professionals rather than bureaucrats who disappointingly don’t see a reason to empathise with the shattered economy of this region,” he said.
“If the government is serious in revival of shattered economy of Jammu and Kashmir then it must ask the JK Bank to go for advances and settlements with its clientele especially the businessmen, traders, manufacturers, industrialists, hoteliers, orchardists, farmers, transporters, houseboat owners, tour and travel operators and all other allied sectors of economy. Or otherwise, the economy of J&K is doomed to collapse which can eventually lead to crumpling of Bank’s existence,” he added.
Bukhari said that being the major shareholder of the JK Bank, the government needs to come forward to rescue the functional autonomy of the bank and safeguard the interests of its clientele for preserving a symbiotic relationship.
“You can’t harass your clients and expect a steady growth of any financial institution,” he said.
He said instead of instilling confidence among traders and business communities working in hostile conditions, the JK Bank is being accused of persecution and harassment of its clients.
“This harassment is being done in the name of asset possession. The families of borrowers mainly the business community are struggling for their survival and most of them are circumstantial defaulters. The bank should not treat them as willful defaulters. The present dispensation must intervene into the matter at the earliest,” Bukhari said.
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