SRINAGAR: The Chairman and CEO of J&K Bank, Mushtaq Ahmad, on Wednesday called for people’s participation in the state’s economic growth, stating that “the growth engine” of every economy “is driven only by the participation of its population”.
He was speaking in the inaugural session of a ‘Workshop on Micro-Credit, Credit-Planning and Developmental Initiatives’ organised by NABARD (J&K Chapter) in association with J&K State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) at J&K0 Bank’s headquarters here.
“The only questions worth asking today are that why are we here and why should we pursue micro-credit programmes under Self Help Group (SHG) and Joint Liability Group (JLG). And the comprehensive answer one arrives at is that the growth engine of every economy is driven only by the participation of its population,” he told the audience comprising, among others, of the bank’s President Mohammad Amin Mir, its Vice-Presidents, Lead District Mangers, Cluster Heads, and Area Managers.
The District Coordinators of other banks operating in Kashmir division were also present. Mushtaq said the bank, being the premiere bank of the state, help’s the society to achieve financial growth not just as its obligation but “as a duty”.
The programmes like SHG-BLP and JLG are “effective ways and means” to achieve the economic growth that is “inclusive and sustainable”, he said.
“Moreover, as bankers, we must appreciate the fact that these schemes provide a window of opportunity to expand our balance sheet over a long-term. These programmes provide us an alternative to promote a better composition of business while spreading the risk,” he said.
Stressing upon the need to dedicate oneself to the welfare of society at large, he said, “The biggest social responsibility for us is to complement and supplement the efforts of those who want to stand on their own—the people who want to dignify their living with hard work and consistency of efforts. This is the noble mission we all must work for.”
Hailing efforts of NABARD, he assured them “complete support” in their wider campaign of financial awareness in the state.
Earlier in the event, CGM NABARD, Shankar A Pandey, talked about the idea of SHG-BLP and JLG finance.
He said: “The crucial message to take forward about these programmes is that these are not only poor-oriented schemes but promising business propositions for banks also. And following a robust Rural Credit Strategy has proved to be quite a viable business opportunity for some private banks as well.”
He said one of the “glowing examples” is that of Bandhan Bank that was recently provided licence for commercial banking by the RBI.
“It is a client-based Micro-finance Institution, which, besides being profitable, had reached to millions of people successfully. It plans to open 800 branches across the country soon,” he said. Praising J&K Bank for its “role in development of the state”, he said the bank can help in “mainstreaming these programmes as a viable commercial activity”.
“When this bank moves, the things change completely,” he said.