Srinagar, October 01 (Scoop News)-While congratulating the Jammu and Kashmir Bank on its Platinum Jubilee, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that the past of Bank has been amazing and if it continues to grow and improve like that its future will be brighter and there is no limit to boundaries it can touch.
Comparing the ageing of an institution with that of an individual, the Chief Minister said that while an individual gets weaken by becoming older and older; the institutions get strong and stronger with attaining more and more age. He said that the same is true for the Jammu and Kashmir Bank attaining 75 years of age and serving the State with a commitment and zeal.
The Chief Minister said that when J&K Bank celebrated its 50th annual celebration, the scale of its progress and improvement was not that significant. “After 1996 elections a person outside the banking system was appointed as the Chairman of J&K Bank and the Bank got introduced to reputed Corporate Sectors in India. It elaborated its business and today after 25 years we find the Bank emerging as one of the leading banks in the Country”, he said adding that if the Bank continues to grow like this the day is nor far when it will be the best bank in the region.
Omar Abdullah said that when his Government allowed the Bank to adopt RBI ways and means for becoming financially independent and commercially sound, many apprehensions were made by the certain sections of media, politicians and former bankers. “But their apprehensions were proved false and the bank took it as an opportunity to achieve new goals and lofty heights”, he said and added that in the tremendous growth and development of J&K Bank lies the endeavour of its Chairmen, officers and the staff down the lines of lowest rank officials.
Omar Abdullah said that with the improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir other Banks are looking towards the State. He said this would create competition between these Banks and J&K Bank. He said that he has told some of the Banks intending to do business in Jammu and Kashmir to localize their products and make these relevant to the local economy. “We have vibrant agriculture, handicrafts, tourism, entrepreneurship development, horticulture, IT and ST sectors. The Banks should focus on localized products”, he said and advised J&K Bank to move an extra-mile in its banking activities aimed at helping the local economy.
The Chief Minister also talked about the status of CD ratio and Corporate Sector Responsibility (CSR) of Banks and appreciated Jammu and Kashmir Bank for showing significant improvement in this sector. He expressed the hope that the Bank would further improve in these fields.
The Chief Minister said that the relationship between the Government and J&K Bank will strengthen further in the coming years and wished all success to J&K Bank to grow and achieve new highs.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Finance, P. Chidambaram referred to his and Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah’s joint efforts to bring about peace and stability in the State. He said he as the Union Home Minister worked with Omar Abdullah and jointly initiated various initiatives in this direction. He appreciated Omar Abdullah for tremendous work done on the development front and wished further more progress of the economy and development of the State.
The Union Minister congratulated J&K Bank for its outstanding performance. He also compered the ageing of an individual and an institution and said that with the increase in age the institutions become strong and stronger. He said when institutions grew older they take up more responsibilities, reach out to more people and tackle different challenges successfully.
Chidambaram paid tributes to the founders of J&K Bank and said that the vision of joint stock company envisioned by its founders is praiseworthy and a visionary initiative. He said joint stock company is the most important and effective invention of human beings.
The Union Minister also referred to the business and profit made by J&K Bank and underlined the status of NPA of the Bank as the highest achievement adding that the recovery of more than 98 per cent of loans by J&K Bank is a significant achievement.
The Union Minister advised the J&K Bank to open more branches in the Country. He said J&K Bank should also open overseas branches and help expand the trade and commerce of the State. He said when any Bank shows its presence in the foreign country it gives signals of sound marketing and helps the traders of the country to invest and be part of global market.
P. Chidambaram also advised J&K Bank to employee young people and adopt modern technology adding that global financial system is most dependent on the technology. He said young people bring technology and make financial institutions healthy. He referred to the 10,000 odd officials of J&K Bank being in the average age group of 40 years and said that this is an encouraging sign. However, he stressed on further employment of younger people.
P. Chidambaram said that poor are the best and trustworthy bankers. He rejected the idea that rich are more bankable than poor and gave various examples were poorer sections of the society have shown highest bankable capacities. He said the initiatives of the Government of India and the Jammu and Kashmir State Government to enhance banking facilities to the poorer sections have yielded remarkable results. He said presently 50,000 crore education loans are being provided by Central Public Sector Banks to the students belonging to the farm labours, shopkeepers, drivers and similar other categories of the society.
The Union Minister also wished further more success to the J&K Bank in coming years.
The Platinum Jubilee celebration function of the J&K Bank was also addressed by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather and Chairman J&K Bank, Mushtaq Ahmad. In their speeches they highlighted the achievements of the Bank. Tara Chand and Abdul Rahim Rather congratulated the Bank and wished further success for its growth and development.
Speaker Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul and various Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Legislators, Chief Secretary and Bank officers from within the State and outside were present on the occasion among others.
In his welcome address the Chairman and CEO of the Bank presented resume of the history and development of the Bank and said that the Bank has more than 70 lakh valuable customers across the country. He said that J&K Bank has touched more than 14 million households of the State financially which is more than half of the total households in the State.
Mushtaq Ahmad said that in its Silver Jubilee year of 1963 J&K Bank had an annual business turnover of Rs. 5.79 crore and annual profit of Rs. 2.7 lakhs which has grown to Rs. one lakh crore business and Rs. 1000 crore profit in the Platinum Jubilee year.
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