Sunday, January 19, 2020

J&K Bank made Public Sector Bank, Mehbooba Mufti calls for immediate rollback

TSL News Network

Jammu, Nov 24: Calling for an immediate rollback of the decision taken by State Administrative Council to treat the J&K Bank Ltd as a public-sector bank, former Chief Minister and President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti has said that the Governor administration is taking such decisions which “smack of attempts to fiddle with the basic characters of the state’s special status.”

A day after Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the assembly, the State Administrative Council chaired by Governor decided to turn the J&K Bank Ltd into a public-sector bank, taking its autonomy away and making it accountable to the state legislature.

Further, it will also be brought under the ambit of the J&K RTI Act and the Central Vigilance Commission. Until now, J&K Bank was classified as an ‘old private sector bank’ and supervised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Furthermore, it is also subject to oversight by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

Omar Abdullah, the former CM and Jammu and Kashmir called it a “disturbing development” and said the Governor, who is a “caretaker administrator did not have the people’s mandate to take such important decisions with far-reaching implications”.

In a statement, the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said that assaults on multiple fronts are being launched against Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. She said the Governor administration is taking away the autonomy of institutions that J&K enjoyed.

“J&K Bank is part of this game plan and this was the reason PDP came together with NC and Congress to form a government and prevent such interventions,” she said, in the statement.

Mehbooba said the Governor Rule in the state is not a permanent arrangement and the administration must concentrate on day to day functioning of the state and desist from taking decisions of far-reaching consequences. PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti (the last CM of J&K) described it as a “disturbing step to snatch every bit of autonomy that our institutions have”.

“Such actions raise apprehensions among the people of the state who already feel alienated and angry and to thwart such attempts, PDP decided to stake claim for the government formation but that too was undemocratically foiled by the Governor,” Mehbooba said while asking Governor Satya Pal Malik to review his decisions and roll them back at an earliest.

Mehbooba said that it is not for a set of bureaucrats and civil servants to take decisions of far-reaching consequences in the state. “These things have to be left to the democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir. The Governor is not mandated by the people of the state to take such decisions,” she said, in the statement.

Sajad Lone of People’s Conference said his party’s economic philosophy is decentralisation and total liberalisation. “We believe in smaller government, not more government control. The best thing the government of the day can do is to get out of the way. Any remedies (regarding J&K Bank) should have been institution-specific, rather than invading it with overarching government control. The track record of J&K government PSUs is extremely bad,” he said.

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