SRINAGAR: A day after hundreds of Khidmat Centre holders or Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) held protest demonstrations and faced arrest while demanding release of service, Jammu and Kashmir Bank has came with a clarification saying that it has ‘limited role’ in extending the services.
“J&K Bank’s role in the project (Common Service Centre, a government of India scheme under National e-Governance Plan) is limited and well defined. Technically speaking bank’s role as Service Centre Agency is confined to develop, design, build, rollout and establish the CSCs,” a spokesperson of the bank said in a statement issued to press.
“CSC owners need to understand that project is primarily related and even subservient to the progress on e-Governance front. More the progress on this front, more will be the services that CSCs can handle and provide, and consequentially more revenues. And what is critical is that this is the area where J&K Bank can not help.”
However, the bank spokesperson did not mention about the release of electricity bill payment collection to Khidmant Centre instead of J&K Bank branches, which is the main demand of the VLEs. VLEs say that despite clear order from the chief minister and Power Development Department’s eagerness to transfer the bill collection job to them, J&K Bank time and again refuses to transfer the service.
The spokesperson said it was with the spirit to explore employment opportunities for the youth of the state, and in view of the fact that nobody was coming forward to act as implementing agency for the project, the J&K Bank offered its services to act as Service Centre Agency for the Ministry of IT, Government of India’s CSC Project, a cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan.
“The VLEs ought to understand the Project in its entirety and the job roles assigned to various stakeholders of the project including Service Designated Agency (SDA)-State Government of J&K, Service Centre agency (SCA) -J&K Bank, Common Services Centre Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC-SPV)-Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, GoI, and Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE),” the statement reads.
Having done its bit by identifying Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs), extending financial assistance to them and providing infrastructure for establishment of CSC (read Khidmat Centres), Bank has assisted VLEs turn their Centres into functional service outlets. Bank also provided services like documentation of loan proposals, besides awarding, to many CSCs, Business Correspondent status to multiply their revenue receipts, it said.