Why is J&K Bank Chairman always from Kashmir region, questions Harsh
Jammu, Dec 14: Alleging large scale irregularities, omissions and commissions in the functioning of J&K Bank, a strong contingent of JKNPP led by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and Former Minister today held a massive protest demonstration outside the zonal office of the Bank at Rail Head Complex Jammu. The protestors accused the J&K Bank authorities of bias against Jammu region besides promoting the interests of Kashmir centric parties including PDP and NC and raised slogans seeking the appointment of a Jammu region officer as the Chairman of J&K Bank.
Addressing the media persons, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said that PDP and NC were opposing the moves for declaration of the JK Bank as PSU and its inclusion under RTI in view of its massive abuse by them for their personal and political gains. He said that by appointing their favourites as JK Bank Chairmen during their respective terms in power, they had extracted huge benefits from the Bank which needed a thorough probe through on impartial agency. He further questioned the policy of appointing a Kashmir based officer as the Chairman of the Bank in utter disregard of Jammu based talent who were never considered for the said post.
Singh said that with the post of Bank Chairman always going the Kashmir way, the Jammu youth continued to remain deprived by the highly biased administration while 80-90 percent recruitments were made from the valley. Further BJP-PDP alliance was also responsible for breeding corruption, nepotism and favouritism in the sphere of employment which had been a root cause of embitterment among the youth of Jammu region, anguished Harsh said. Raking up the issue of aggrieved lower rung employees of the JK Bank, he disclosed that hundreds of youth from Jammu region who were appointed as banking attendants, sweepers, peons, etc. on contractual basis were obnoxiously disengaged by the bank and put on the pay rolls of M/s Sila, a private company which provided human resource to the organizations for housekeeping and maintenance of the offices. “While the Jammu based employees were disengaged and out sourced, similar appointees in Kashmir were absorbed and regularized by the JK Bank in a glaring example of discrimination with the region”, lamented Harsh.
Singh said that during the past four years several thousands of backdoor appointments had been made in the various branches of J&K Bank without notifying advertisements for the posts or following the formal recruitment process. He said that there were reports that several candidates were illegally doled jobs in the said bank on the recommendations of the ex-MLAs and Minsters of the erstwhile ruling clique at the cost of meritorious and deserving candidates who were covertly divested of the opportunity to compete. Rumours were agog that huge amount of money per candidate had exchanged hands to confer favours, Harsh rued.
Lambasting J&K Bank for refusing to entertain RTI applications despite it being brought under the ambit of the Act by the orders issued by Governor recently, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said a that on 26thNovember this year NPP had approached the Regional Office of the JK Bank with an RTI application which was out rightly refused and returned. He revealed that through the RTI, he had sought the details of appointments made by the J&K Bank during the last four years without issuance of advertisement notifications, the details of wilful defaulters, NPAs, Bad debts, over-valued mortgages, unverified investors etc with particular reference to the role of Ministers, MLAs and top bureaucrats. He said that defiance of the RTI Act by the Bank despite Governor’s directives was not only scandalous but most shocking and full of offense. “By declining to entertain the RTI application, the J&K Bank has not only violated the directions of the Constitutional Head of the state but also exhibited its contempt for the transparency law as operational in the state”, said Singh.
Urging upon the Governor to take cognizance of the highly contemptuous act of the Bank, Mr. Singh reiterated his demand of high level probe into all the whimsical and illicit back door appointments made by the J&K Bank in the last four years on monetary and extraneous considerations. He said that the law should also take its course against the tainted politicians and bank officials for their involvement in various frauds and financial irregularities which had not only dented the credibility of bank but also brought disgrace to the State’s financial institution.