Adopting a proactive approach to address the immediate as well as the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on borrower segments and business sectors in the UT, J&K Bank’s specially constituted executive level committees today heldmeetings with the representatives of various trade bodies of Kashmir and Jammu divisions including the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), members of the Associations of Industries Jammu (Bari Brahmana, Gangyal and Kathua), Kashmir Transport Welfare, and Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation.
The separate meetings were held at the bank’s corporate headquarters and Zonal Office Jammu (Central I) respectively.
The committees have been created as per the directions of the bank’s Board of Directorsin order to have an effective credit management approach besides helping the customers wade through these challenging times by keeping their cash flows and businesses rolling. They have also been tasked to interact with all stake-holders in order to devise sector-specific resolutions and road-maps to revive businesses concerning horticulture, tourism, handicrafts, tour-operators, automobile industries, exporters, transport, general trade industry besides IT sector, and health and pharma.
Reaching out to the borrowers from various segments/sectors for a direct feedback, the bank’s Executive President (EP)Arun Gandotra along with Vice Presidents Manzoor Hussain, Peer Masood Ahmad Chisti, Chief Risk Officer Fayaz Ahmad Zargar and Assistant Vice President Riyaz Ahmad held a detailed interaction with the representatives from Kashmir division while EP Sunil Gupta, accompanied by Director on Board Vikram Gujral Chief Compliance Officer Anand Pal Singh, Zonal Heads Sudhir Gupta and Sunit Kumar, and Vice President Narjay Gupta, garnered valuable suggestions from the stakeholders from Jammu division.
Among the prominent members who were a part of the meetings in Kashmir were KCCI President Sheikh Ashiq President Sr. Vice President Nasir A Khan Secretary-General Farooq Amin Chairman Agriculture/Horticulture committee MajidWafai, while as CRE was represented by Manzoor Ahmad Shah Member KCCI, Kashmir Economic Alliance Media & Publicity Head FarhanKitab, Chairman IqbalTrumboo, KCCI President Sheikh Ashiq President Sr. Vice President Nasir A Khan Secretary General Farooq Amin Chairman Agriculture/Horticulture committee MajidWafai, while as CRE was represented by Manzoor Ahmad Shah Member KCCI, KCCI President Sheikh Ashiq President Sr. Vice President Nasir A Khan Secretary General Farooq Amin Chairman Agriculture/Horticulture committee MajidWafai, while as CRE was represented by Manzoor Ahmad Shah Member KCCI, Kashmir Transport Welfare General Secretary Mohammad Yousuf, Kashmir Hotel & Restaurants Federation President Wahid Bazaz Asif Burza, President Pahalgam Hotels Association.
The prominent representatives from Jammu included LalitMahajan Chairman, Industries Association, Jammu, TarunSingla, President, Bari Brahmana Industries Association, Viraaj Malhotra, General Secretary, Bari Brahmana Industries Association and Ajay Langer, Vice President, Bari Brahmana Industries Association, Rattan Dogra President, Industries Association Gangyal, Akhil Gupta, Prominent Industrialist, Pankaj Chopra, Industrialist, and Anil Gupta, Industrialist Davinder Verma President, Industries Association Kathua, Piyush Rastogi, Vice President Industries Association and Rajinder Kumar, Industrialist.
Speaking on the occasion, the representatives of the trade bodies unanimously emphasized that all the industries and business sectors were suffering because of the series of disturbances and business disruptions. They underscored the need for meaningful revival of the business in the UT of J&K in a calibrated manner.
“Almost all the sectors have been severely hit by the ongoing pandemic. Nobody has any idea when the crisis will end. We, therefore, request the government as well as the bank to provide immediate relief in order to keep our businesses afloat. This will require funding of interest by the government, extending soft loans, and extended moratoriumso as to sustain ourselves and our businesses”, the representatives reiterated.
The delegations also put forward a charter requesting immediate relief to the industrial sector of the J&K UT including wavier of interest, additional Working Capital,reduction of margins, relaxation in the benchmark ratios, besides other recommendations.
Pertinently, the move to formulate the committees was prompted as the cash flows of customers and businesses have come to a standstill and are expected to remain severely curtailed in the medium-term as well due to the impact of the pandemic.
Commenting on the rationale behind the formation of the committees, the bank’s Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Rajesh Kumar Chhibber said, “Till now the bank has been in full business continuity mode and the entire focus has remained on addressing the immediate challenges of protecting our employees from the pandemic while providing much needed continued services to our customers.However, as this crisis develops we need to be active participants and do whatever we can to support customers and businesses weather this storm. Although a challenging situation, this is also an opportunity for us to show that we understand our customers’ plight and are committed to support them throughout the crisis”.
In this regard, the bank has adopted a data-driven approach by doing sectoral as well as granular modelling at individual account levels to better understand the challenges faced by various industries and segments. The analysiswill be used to proactively reach out to customers with tailored solutions.
“Clients, both commercial as well as individual consumers, will not be equally impacted by this pandemic. For some the impact will be immediate and severe while for others, like the ones in regular salaried employment the impact may not be too grave. In all cases, an effective action is the need of the hour to help our customers tide over these testing times”, the CMD added.
The CMD added that the bank would explore every possible scenario and also take on board the UT government to evolve a strategy to meet up the challenges thrown by the Covid19 pandemic.