In a little over two months after a brief a controversy looked devastating, the public chemistry between Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and J&K Bank Chairman Parvez Ahmed has begun to appear enviable with former praising the latter’s leadership and the latter acknowledging the former’s guidance for the same.
For the second time in two weeks Governor Malik heaped praises on Chairman Ahmed’s leadership for not only making the bank ultimate hope of the people of all sorts but also making Jammu and Kashmir proud by taking highly innovative initiatives. The Chairman reciprocated by admitting that he benefited by the continuance guidance of Governor Malik. Mutual admiration is clearly visible.
It may be recalled here that when Jammu and Kashmir government broke for its biennial recess on the eve of Darbar move between last week of October and first week of November last year, a statement of the Governor’s had kicked off a potential political storm.
In a television interview the Governor alleged discrepancies in a recruitment process of the Bank to the disadvantage of over 500 meritorious aspirants. It took no time for several interest groups to hit the streets against Bank management. Several political actors jumped into the fray to wash their dirty linen, literally, in the Bank’s lawns. Memes started doing the rounds on social media casting aspersions on integrity and faithfulness of the Bank.
Given the fact that the state government is a majority shareholder, the Bank’s administration couldn’t have confronted the Governor denying his allegations right away. However, by the evening the Chairman tweeted a very carefully worded statement which did go no further than reassuring that the recruitment process was completely fair and the records were available for examination.
Three days later the Governor, upon his arrival in Jammu Raj Bhawan for the first time, almost undid the channel interview damage when he described the J&K Bank as a wonderful institution. “It is J&K Bank people who told me about the illegal recruitment and is not necessary it is a fact. J&K Bank is doing a great job and is wonderful institution,” the Governor told reporters.
The Bank management heaved a sigh of relief but it was short-lived. The month of November was tumultuous with the State Administrative Council bringing the Bank under the ambit of RTI, a demand vehemently resisted by the Bank management as well as the political governments in the past. By the end of November it looked like the Bank could see a top leadership level change any moment as names of a senior bureaucrat and former top bureaucrat were doing the rounds. Bank officials had hit the streets against SAC decision of changing the nature of relationship between the Bank and the Government. At this stage the Governor conferred with the association of the employees leading to restoration of a semblance of normalcy.
It is understood that at least three top bureaucrats and two politicians, including one from Peoples Democratic Party, were instrumental in creating misconceptions. On December 31, 2018, while launching iconic wall calendar of the Bank, the Governor did praise the Bank in no uncertain terms but also brought the Chairman’s leadership role on focus. Governor Malik said,
“J&K Bank is the premier financial institution of the State and has always been instrumental in promoting the economic growth of Jammu and Kashmir. It is an epitome of success and for that I commend the leadership of Parvez Ahmed and his team in taking innovative measures not only in management of the Bank but also through various CSR interventions, especially in promoting sports which I believe can be a game changer in positively energizing the youth in the State”
In Jammu on Monday, while inaugurating a fountain and state-of-the-art gymnasium dedicated by the Bank at town’s Rajinder Singh Park, the Governor once again did mince no words in praising the Bank and leadership of Parvez Ahmed.
Appreciating the roles and responsibilities of J&K Bank, Governor observed that the Bank is always at the forefront for delivering the best services to the people and has become an identity of the State. Citing some of the examples of Bank’s role in upgrading the social infrastructure like the Rajinder Park and Kashmir Golf Course; providing support to a Football team from Kashmir which has made its presence felt at national level by defeating established Football clubs like Mohun Bagan, Governor noted that the Bank is not only working commendably as a financial institution but also as a responsible Corporate Citizen.
Governor observed that the Bank has the potential for economic transformation of the State and advised it to develop a robust mechanism for strengthening thehandicraft sector by financial and social interventions. He added that the J&K Bank under the leadership of Parvez Ahmed has always demonstrated a very strong delivery in all the projects of socio economic importance and he is confident that the Bank will also develop innovative solution for this sector on the lines of Self Help Groups.
Parvez Ahmed, Chairman JK Bank in his address acknowledged the continuous guidance and support of the Governor’s administration to the Bank. He informed that the Bank has been consistently showing profit and in the recently declared nine months results it has reported a profit of Rs 250 Cr. He assured that the Bank is in a very strong position to project a profit of Rs 2000 Cr in the year 2022 i.e three years from now.
Ahmed re-iterated his commitment towards the economic upliftment of the economically weaker section of the society especially in the rural and agrarian pockets of the state by opening business units in the unbanked rural areas and for development of the handicrafts sector and improve the economic profile of the artisans.
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