SRINAGAR: For the first time in the history of JK Bank, its association of all-India branches has gone all out against the state government’s recent order to make the bank a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) and bring it under the Right to Information Act.
Talking to reporters, President, All India JK Bank Officers Federation (AIJKOF), Tasaduq Madani said that they are surprised to see the order coming from the governor-led administration which will effect the health of the bank in particular and of the state economy in general.
Madani said that against the order, which is yet to come out in black and white, the employees will hold a protest demonstration at the bank’s corporate headquarters on Thursday and at its zonal headquarters on Friday.
“We condemn it tooth and nail. Government should roll it back immediately,” Madani said. “In case they refuse to do so, we will take a call to launch a massive peaceful rebellion against it. Until the order won’t go, we won’t give up. We can go even to the extent of giving up our lives for this institution which has been made by blood and sweat.”
Madani said that the state government is a 59 percent share holder in the bank while 41 percent rests outside the government. For us, he said, the government is the equity holder, which they can take away from it.
“If the governor administration does not roll back the order, then we will calculate its equity share and return it to them. Won’t the institution lose its freedom which has ushered its growth,” he added.
J&K Bank is the only listed company from the state on the stock exchange. It has a current business of Rs 1,36,919 crore, with the majority of its shares belonging to the state of J&K. The bank is an exception in the Indian federal structure, where all nationalised banks are under government control.
All the decisions of J&K Bank are taken by its board of directors and its chairman. They are accountable to the Reserve Bank of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the bank’s own internal audits.
Now the order has made the directors and chairman accountable to legislators and other government entities, adding to the list of hierarchies to be approached for permission and accountability.
Madani also asked political parties to stay away from politicking about the bank because it restricts its growth and jeopardises its growth trajectory. He also asked the government to give them the hold of 19 defunct PSUs, and they will infuse life into them.
“Let them give us the hold of PSUs, we will show them how to make them profitable. Instead of doing so, they want bank to become another PSU, which wont be allowed at ant cost,” he added.