Srinagar, Aug 3: Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has sought immediate intervention from the government of Jammu and Kashmir in resolving the issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) and stressful accounts in order to put an end to the growing confrontation between J&K Bank and the business community.
In a statement, Kashmir's apex industrial chamber has "regretted the harsh recovery process let loose by J&K Bank despite clear instructions from Union Ministry of Finance to deal with the issue with utter sensitivity and humane approach."
"The harassment, intimidation and physical dispossession of inmates from their residential houses in the name of standard operational procedures (SOPs) is just not acceptable to the business community and the society of Jammu and Kashmir which has been instrumental in the growth of J&K Bank to its current position."
"While expressing anguish over recent bank action against a borrower, whose account was reportedly downgraded just five months back, FCIK said that such an action was fraught with severe consequences on the relations and mutual trust of entrepreneurs with the bank. The brewing anger expressed by masses on social media over the forcible eviction of a 95-year-old lady from her residential house, in the instant case, should be read by the bank authorities as writing on the wall."
"The action has also caused shockwaves across the entrepreneurial community with prospective entrepreneurs seriously thinking of abandoning their plans to adopt entrepreneurship as their means of livelihood. If the bank justified the attachment of collateral security within 6 months of the failure of an entrepreneur to serve interest for any reason, then why has there been leniency in the recovery of loans from outside businessmen against whom there is a whopping outstanding amount of Rs 6044.03 crore as NPA, as officially declared on June 30," questioned FCIK in a statement adding that in some of the cases, money of J&K Bank is pending recovery for a decade or so. While the amount in NPA with outside enterprises accounted for 58% of total deposits made by people from outside J&K, the total NPA balance of Rs 3412.10 crore against the borrowers of J&K accounted for just 3% deposited by the people of J&K with the bank.
"The banks needed to understand and ascertain the failure of enterprises in paying their due instalments or interest on time before taking any harsh action against them," FCIK said adding that there were overwhelming cases where the due payments to the enterprises were held up by buyers including the government departments.
"This is high time for the government to step in and find a viable solution to the chronic problem of NPAs and stressful accounts before the situation took an ugly turn."
FCIK has also conveyed its appreciation to the trade organisation from Downtown Srinagar for helping the evicted family and mustering public support and sympathies for it. FCIK assured to support any endeavour that brings relief to the business community from all problems and difficulties.