Government brings J&K Bank under purview of RTI, CVC guidelines, legislature

Government brings J&K Bank under purview of RTI, CVC guidelines, legislature
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Srinagar: The SAC led by Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday cleared the proposal for treating the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

An official spokesperson said that the SAC approved that the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009 shall be applicable to the J&K Bank like other PSUs. Besides,  the Bank shall follow CVC guidelines onwards. 

Until now, the Bank was not liable to provide information under the RTI, prompting a petitioner to file PIL in High Court. In past, the Bank had refused to provide information about the institution claiming it was not coming under the purview of RTI.

Last month, the Governor’s remarks about the appointments in the Bank triggered a controversy in Jammu and Kashmir. He claimed selection list of 528 candidates in Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K) was changed to appoint political workers of the parties. Later, he denied it.

The J&K Bank shall be accountable to the State Legislature like other State PSUs.  The Annual Report of the J&K Bank Ltd shall be placed before the State Legislature through the State Finance Department, it said. 

The Finance Department will issue appropriate directions in respect of these to the J&K Bank Ltd for observance, it said. 

The J&K Bank Ltd established in 1938 is the only state government promoted bank in India, with the state government currently having 59.3% shareholding.

As the state is a major shareholder in the J&K Bank Ltd, a need was felt that it should have a character of a PSU which is subject to general supervision and access for enhanced transparency in the transaction of its business to promote public trust, it added. 

The purpose of the SAC decision is not to question the day to day activities of the Bank management but a step towards strengthening better corporate governance.

Meanwhile, the SAC also approved creation of 48 posts for Mission Directorate, Integrated Child Protection Scheme/Juvenile Justice Boards/Child Welfare Committees & Selection cum Oversight Committees.

The SAC also cleared the enactment of the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2018, an official spokesperson said.