Srinagar: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) led by its President Javid Ahmad Tenga held a threadbare meeting with MD/ CEO Jammu and Kashmir Bank Baldev Prakash on Tuesday at the Banks corporate office, Srinagar and discussed the issues facing various sectors of the economy viz a viz Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
The attention of Prakash was drawn to the distressful conditions since devastating 2014 floods, turmoil, shutdowns, restrictions, communication breakdown during 2016, 2018, 2019 and COVID 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 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 NPA’s 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.
The following points were discussed threadbare:
One time settlement scheme: The KCCI while appreciating the steps taken by the Bank in floating OTS sought a time period of 2 years instead of present 6 months. Moreover, KCCI suggested raising of the limit upto 50 crores instead of present limit of 10 crores under OTS.
The KCCI proposed the scheme be made applicable to all accounts below 15 lacs NPA outstanding.
Renewal of cash credit: The KCCI discussed the problem of renewal of cash credit limit which is causing difficulties to account holders and hampers their business activities.
Revival of Qarz MUKHT scheme: KCCI proposed the revival and extension of Qarz MUKT Scheme for 6 months since the previous one could not be availed of by a large number of loanees.
Npa’s and SARFAESI proceedings: 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.
Restructuring of loans: 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.
Joint KCCI and bank committee: There was an agreement on the formation of Joint KCCI and JK Bank Committee for the progress made on the implementation of the decisions arrived at between the bank and the KCCI as was in the past.
Among other points discussed were applying priority rate of interest to the horticulture sector and review of application of sma-1 and sma-2, upgrading of lcu’s, restoration/ delegation of overdraft powers, encouragement of startups and use of jk bank infrastructure for imparting skill development training, widespread awareness, program concessions in interest rates, upgrading of bank it response system like toll free number, extension of time in registration of mortgages, deferment of credit rating like cibil, crisil etc.
The CEO was extremely positive in his response on all the issues for which KCCI president and his team thanked him and also for free, frank and cordial threadbare discussion held between CEO assisted by a senior Bank officer and the 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.