J&K Bank slashes lending rates for priority sector; KEA welcomes move

SRINAGAR: The J&K Bank has slashed the lending rates for the priority sector, which includes trade, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artisans, by a maximum of one per cent.
The bank’s Chairman and CEO Mushtaq Ahmad announced the rate cut while speaking at a function organised here by the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA)—the umbrella body of the Valley-based trade bodies.
“J&K bank has always encouraged the local trade to facilitate the state’s economic growth. Now, we are offering a slash from 0.25 per cent to one per cent on seven different lending rates applicable to the priority sector,” he said.
Mushtaq, however, cautioned the willful defaulters, saying that the bank would “act tough against them to recover its money.”
The bank, he said, is operating under a set guideline, which dictates its lending policy.
“We charge interest rates to different lenders as per the guidelines set by the RBI or as decided by the consortiums set for lending to different companies. The local traders aren’t overcharged,” he said. He, however, assured the traders that the Bank would “act swift” on giving advances.
“Unnecessary delay in sanctioning advances accounts to professional dishonesty,” he said, adding that the bank staff was instructed to settle the cases in shortest possible time and make the process less complicated.
“The bank will constitute special teams in its each branch to attend to the artisans seeking loans,” he said.
KEA welcomed the move, hoping that it would act as a “succor” to the people associated with various trades and services.
Chairman KEA Mohammad Yasin Khan said they had several rounds of meeting with the bank officials where in they have put forth the problems faced by the business community in the Valley.
He said the traders are “duly supported” by the bank.
“Reduction in lending rates is an encouraging sign to form a much deeper relationship between traders and the bank,” he added.
The function was attended by the heads of different trader bodies constituting KEA.