Unit Holders Accuse J&K Bank Lassipora of Non Professionalism

 

Srinagar: Industrial unit holders at IGC Lassipora have accused J&K Bank branch at the Industrial zone of ‘inappropriate and non cooperative’ behaviour rueing that the bank authorities have been ignoring their repeated pleas of appointing a professional and industry friendly staff at the branch.

“Small Scale Industries (SSI) constitute an important and crucial segment of the industrial sector. This has been acknowledged by the Government of India by the high priority it has accorded to the SSI sector. The Reserve Bank of India has also bestowed the status of Priority Sector to SSI lending by banks and various circulars and guidelines have been issued in this regard from time to time”, said a statement issued by the unit holders to Kashmir Observer.

Industrial unit holders at IGC Lassipora raised their concerns regarding the inappropriate and non cooperative behaviour and one-sidedness of J&K Bank staff at a general meeting which was headed by Shahid Kamili, President -Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir.

“All the allegations raised against the newly appointed J&K Bank Manager, Lassipora branch are in context to the queries raised by the genuine industrial unit holders at the Special General Body Meeting held on 04.11.2021 at IAL association office in presence of President -Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, IAL general council members and other media officials,” the statement reads.

“Despite the fact that the entire business fraternity remained stressed and suffered extreme losses post lockdown of 2019, the industrial unit holders of IGC Lassipora continue to face improper and rigid behavior of few bank employees towards the industrialists’ especially small borrowers”, the statement added.

“As per RBI guidelines banks have also been advised to achieve a year-on-year growth of 20% in

Credit to micro and small enterprises and an annual growth of 10% in the number of microenterprise accounts”, it added.

After agriculture, MSME is the second largest sector with employment opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the development of this sector is often hampered due to non-cooperation by bankers. The Centre, in collaboration with the finance ministry, is now finding a solution to this issue. In future, banks might be made answerable if they refuse loans to eligible candidates.

Demanding immediate reshuffling of bank employees working there form last six years, statement said, “Industrial unit holders at industrial growth centre, Lassipora, Pulwama in this stage would be looking to pay off debts, for which they would require smooth day-to-day functioning with adequate availability of working capital for the same.”

“In recognition of the problems being faced by the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) sector, particularly with respect to rehabilitation of potentially viable sick units, the Reserve Bank has carefully considered recommendations regarding rehabilitation of potentially viable sick MSE units/enterprises, which essentially aim at timely detection of sickness and adoption of remedial measures to rehabilitate the potentially viable ones,” it further said.

The reserve Bank of India has advised all leading commercial banks vide RBI circular RBI/FIDD/2017-2018/56 Master Direction FIDD.MSME & NFS.12/06.02.31/2017-18 about the "Lending to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Sector".

“In view of the fact that J&K Bank is the predominant source of finance in Kashmir the bank may focus on opening more specialised micro, small and medium enterprise branches as per RBI guidelines. The expansion of specialised branch network in all identified clusters and Industrial Estates and training is also required to be imparted to the branch managers and their loan officers for change in their mindset away from the perceived risk in financing MSMEs, Committee Approach may be introduced for sanction of new loans as also rehabilitation cases. This will not only improve the quality of decision as collective wisdom of the members shall be utilised, especially while taking decision on loan applications for green-field projects in the micro, small and medium enterprise sector or the rehabilitation proposals. Besides banks may allow CC/OD against stock and receivables under one facility,” the unit holders said.

Kashmir Observer contacted J&K Bank chairman RK Chibber for his take on the issue. However he was unavailable. However his Secretary said that unit holders have certain ‘undue expectations’ which bank officials were unable to fulfil. When asked to elaborate he said that the bank will come up with a detailed statement on the issue shortly.

Kashmir Observer will update the story when the banks response arrives.

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