KCCI apprises J&K Bank top brass about Kashmir’s ‘distressful’ business conditions

KCCI apprises J&K Bank top brass about Kashmir’s ‘distressful’ business conditions
GK Photo

Srinagar, Mar 21: The top officials of Jammu and Kashmir Bank were informed about the current difficult business conditions in Kashmir on Tuesday by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), who also asked for their assistance in resolving the financial problems facing the business sector.

KCCI delegation led by its President Javid Ahmad Tenga held a threadbare discussion with MD/ CEO Jammu & Kashmir Bank Baldev Prakash today at the Banks corporate office, Srinagar and discussed the issues facing various sectors of economy viz a viz J&K Bank.

As per the KCCI statement, the attention of the CEO & MD of J&K Bank was drawn to the distressful conditions that prevailed in J&K in general and Kashmir in particular since the devastating 2014 floods, turmoil, shutdowns, restrictions, and communication breakdown during 2016, 2018,2019 and COVID-19 epidemic which dealt a crippling blow to the economy as a result of which handicrafts, trade, industry, commerce, tourism, horticulture, transport, education, health and other sectors fared extremely poorly.”

The CEO’s attention was drawn to the fact that despite these economic problems the businesses ensured that the dues of banks were paid back which is evidenced by the fact that NPAs in the Kashmir valley both amount and number wise is far less than compared to other places. Moreover, it was impressed upon him that there are hardly any willful defaulters who defaulted due to circumstances beyond borrowers’ Control, reads the statement.

KCCI while appreciating the steps taken by the Bank in floating OTS sought 2 years instead of the present 6 months. Moreover, KCCI suggested raising the limit upto Rs 50 crore instead of the present limit of Rs 10 crore under OTS. The KCCI proposed the scheme be made applicable to all accounts below Rs 15 lakhs NPA outstanding.

The KCCI discussed the problem of renewal of cash credit limit which is causing difficulties for account holders and hampers their business activities.

The CEO was requested to devise a method of communication and negotiations jointly with KCCI before taking harsh steps like initiating SARFAESI proceedings which will help in making a meaningful recovery in a dignified manner.

The KCCI proposed restructuring of stressed and NPA loans with a slightly reduced interest rate. Also, the structured loans be charged a lesser rate of interest.

“There was an agreement on the formation of Joint KCC&I and J&K Bank Committee for the progress made on the implementation of the decisions arrived at between the bank and the KCC&I as was in the past.”

“The MD/CEO J&K Bank was extremely positive in his response on all the issues for which the KCCI president and his team thanked him and also for the free, frank and cordial threadbare discussion held between CEO assisted by senior Bank officer and KCCI team. Significantly, there was agreement on most of the issues and CEO was kind enough to issue on-the-spot instructions to Bank officials. He assured that KCCI will find perceptible change in the coming days,” the KCCI statement said.

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