JAMMU: CPI (M) legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigani on Mondy asked the government to discuss the “weakening” health of J&K Bank while National Conference alleged the bank was involved in “backdoor appointments”.
Probably for the first time, the members of Legislative Assembly, on Monday expressed concern over the falling financial health of state’s only listed company – Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
The issue came up when MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami told the House that the economic situation of J&K Bank was “weakening”. Several National Conference (NC) legislators, however, alleged that the bank was “involved in backdoor appointments at the behest of the government”.
NC’s Sonawari MLA, Mohammad Akbar Lone, resorted to personal attack on Finance Minister, Haseeb A Drabu, repeatedly calling him “donkey” on the floor of the House.
Participating in the discussion over the budget, Tarigami said that state was the largest shareholder in the J&K Bank. “It is the state’s largest financial institution but, ironically, it remains unaccountable before the house of people,” Tarigami told the House. “I question the wisdom of government as why J&K Bank is unaccountable before this house of people.”
“Many things are coming to fore; the health of J&K Bank is weak… let us discuss it in the House; let finance minister call for a special debate,” Tarigami told the speaker while seeking attention of opposition leader and MLA Beerwah, Omar Abdullah, over the issue.
Tarigami also referred to the Rs 500 crore sum which was infused by the government in J&K Bank, given its non-performing assets (NPAs) worth around Rs 5000 crore.
Seconding Tarigami, National Conference’s Ali Mohammad Sagar asked the government to respond to the concern raised by Tarigami as “it was serious”.
“You gave Rs 500 crore to bank last years because it had huge NPAs,” Sagar told Drabu while reading a para from 2016-17 Budget document. “You were champion of J&K Bank once upon a time. Are we making it a political arena?” he asked Drabu.
“Today, you are with PDP but during Omar Abdullah’s time you were working for the bank and it is important to express concern about the bank because I am deeply pained as there are serious lapses,” he maintained.
“You know the reality,” he told Drabu. “I am just apprising you about the condition of the bank, one of the big financial institutions which is good for the economy of J&K,” he added. “But you are just into publicity and nothing else,” he alleged.
Later in the afternoon when the second session resumed, NC MLA Pahalgam, Altaf Ahmad Kaloo alleged that the J&K Bank was involved in backdoor appointments. He was supported by Lone who stood up and yelled towards Drabu: “You are a donkey,” the MLA Sonawari repeatedly said it resulting in commotion and the adjourning of the House.