SRINAGAR: J&K Bank has really brought an ease in the lives of so many people by commissioning its business delivery outlets and distributing handcarts to the street vendors, for which I extend heartfelt gratitude to the Bank’s Chairman Parvez Ahmad and his staff. Invariably, J&K Bank has always made us proud because of this spirit of service and commitment to society. I pray that the bank progresses by leaps and bounds in times to come.
J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made these remarks shortly after e-inaugurating 82 delivery outlets of the Bank amid huge rounds of applause in presence of Minister for Education Syed Altaf Bukhari, MoS Health Asiya Naqash and J&K Bank Chairman & CEO Parvez Ahmed at a glittering function here at SKICC. Mostly within the state of J&K, the 82 outlets thus commissioned include 35 Business Units, 41 ATMs and 6 Cash Deposit Machines.
Besides distributing ‘Ownership Certificates’ of Mobile Handcarts to street vendors, the Chief Minister also kick-started J&K Bank’s ‘Ramadhan celebrations’ initiative. The distribution of Mobile Handcarts is a part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
“The gradual but steady expansion of J&K Bank foot-print across the state and outside is a welcome news for all of us,” Chief Minister said. “I wish the bank best for all its initiatives aimed at making the economic lives of people convenient and comfortable.”
Commenting upon the Mobile Handcarts, she observed, “My government attaches highest importance to providing employment to youth besides dignified livelihood to the weak and vulnerable sections of society. In this regard, J&K Bank has been playing a matchless role in the state not only through its aggressive business strategy but also through its comprehensive Corporate Social responsibility initiatives. Today, they are setting a new benchmark while distributing these aesthetically pleasing Mobile Handcarts to the deserving street vendors.”
“Unfortunately other banks operating here are not performing their role as per people’s expectations. To serve the people especially lower rungs of the economy and youth, the responsibility of making the credit disposals as hassle free as possible squarely falls on our own bank i.e. J&K Bank. And I hope you will do it”, she said amid a thunderous applause.
Before the e-inauguration, a short film was screened, which depicted the public feedback regarding few of the delivery points established at various places in the state.
Earlier, J&K Minister for Education Altaf Bukhari lauded the role of bank in the state. He commented, “J&K Bank has been playing an active role in improving the economic conditions of people of this state for more than seven decades. It is because of the inclusive approach to financial empowerment besides strong focus on the development of socio-ecological infra structure of the state that J&K Bank is the first choice of every citizen of this state”.
“I congratulate JK Bank for mobile handcart initiative especially for maintaining the requisite designing that besides catering to the needs of vendors has taken care of aesthetics and the modern day digital demands of the consumers”, he added.
“It is true that under its CSR Programmes J&K Bank has been quite generously helping the weak and marginalized sections of society at large here”, he said.
In his welcome Address Chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmad extended warm greetings to the Chief Minister, Ministers, Directors on Board of the bank and all the distinguished dignitaries.
He said, “It is a moment of honour for me to host the Chief Minister, who really cares for the weak and vulnerable sections of society. She has always been kind enough to grace our functions held across the state. She has been the guiding light in the bank’s CSR initiative of providing Mobile Handcarts to the most deserving street vendors. She not only conceptualized the idea but suggested the designs of carts herself.”
“As the head of this institution, I assure the government led by such dynamic yet caring chief minister that we shall accomplish this mission of providing dignified livelihoods to the many of the deserving street vendors identified by the government. Aesthetic in form, these handcarts have been designed according to the needs of vendors, digitally equipped and in line with the available road-spaces”, he added.
Regarding the inauguration of delivery points, Chairman asserted, “Through the commissioning of these 82 delivery points, we are making the entire range of our services and products accessible to around five lac people residing within their catchment area. This is a considerable step ahead in terms of our penetration into deeper pockets of unbanked and underbanked populations.”
“Redefining the banking in terms of scale and scope, our digital strategy shall unfold on the ground in full swing within next few quarters. Soon one can open a J&K Bank account from home besides availing finance and accessing other products and services”, he added.
Chief Minister also inaugurated the Mobile Handcart on the occasion.
Integrating its digital policy objectives with that of the socio-economic transformation of individuals under CSR in a unique way, the bank has procured these Mobile Handcarts to facilitate a dignified livelihood for some needy street vendors. The idea is to empower individuals and transform families in socio-economic sense.
Built upon stable iron and steel frame, the state-of-the-art Mobile Handcarts have been designed as per the requirements of vendors, in line with the available road-spaces here. Weighing up to 150 Kg with special canopy frame, the Handcarts have been fitted with the solar lanterns and can move quite smoothly on the roads and maneuver in the traffic with ease.
Blending digitization with development at micro-economic level, the carts have been equipped with digital devices like mPoS and mPay for safe and easy payment process.
Notably, the initial concept and design of these Mobile Handcarts came from the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti herself.
Selection of Vendors
The selection of the first batch of beneficiary vendors was done through a draw of lots done by the Commissioner SMC Dr Shafqat, DC Srinagar Dr Farooq Lone, Chairman & CEO Parvez Ahmad and OSD CM Secretariat Sadat Hussain here at the bank’s Corporate Headquarters.
Out of 2910 vendors registered with Srinagar Municipal Committee, 50 vendors were selected through the lucky draw.
J&K Bank Aasaan Loan to street Vendors
On the occasion, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti unveiled a special Micro-finance scheme devised by the bank for Street Vendors titled ‘J&K Bank Aasaan Loan’.
With a minimal interest rate of 4 percent, the maximum finance that can be availed under the scheme would be Rs 15000. Without any collateral security and processing charges, the borrower will be issued Debit Card against loan amount to facilitate purchase of fresh stocks digitally. Family income of beneficiary under the scheme should not exceed Rs 24000.
The borrowers shall also be provided with mPoS and mPay facilities to encourage the usage of Debit/Credit Cards by the customers.
Besides the e-inauguration, CM Mehbooba Mufti kick-started the bank’s ‘Ramadhan Celebrations’. The idea behind the celebrations is to reinvigorate the spirit of life and activity among the people particularly youth and children.
The celebrations comprise of a series of activities besides illumination of Zabarwan Park, Zero Bridge and gardens & parks maintained and developed by the bank in some districts, lighting and decorating stretches of Dal Lake embankment, establishing post-iftaar Stall Exhibitions and Food Stalls on the banks of Dal Lake at picturesque Zabarwan Park.
The programme includes activities for children like Na’at and Qirat competitions, organizing Painting, Photo and Calligraphy contests and creating Children Gaming Zones etc. in various districts of the state.
An official spokesman released the following details about the speech of the Chief Minister.
Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today inaugurated electronically 82 delivery units of the JK Bank across the State and outside. She also distributed ownership slips of 20 Mobile Hand Carts among the deserving beneficiaries.
Among the 82 delivery units include 35 business units, 41 ATMs and six cash delivery machines.
The Chief Minister also launched the Aasaan loan scheme for the street vendors on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Chief Minister appreciated the management of the Bank for its social outreach and helping in building a massive employability base in the State. She hoped the Bank would continue with its efforts to share the corporate social responsibilities of its customers and citizens of the State in future also.
Mehbooba Mufti said her Government is sensitive to the difficulties and needs of the street vendors and has decided to place street vendors at demarcated places in the City and other towns so that they are not frequently harassed and the pavements also get naturally cleared. She said already a number of vendors have been given allocated places and directed the District and Municipal administration of Srinagar to complete the process in respect of others.
The Chief Minister hoped the vendors who got the Mobile Hand Carts today would be doing the business in a hygienic and attractive way. She asked for devising similar carts for the vendors selling other items including hosiery, cloths and other items at the earliest. She also asked for disbursing the loans under Aasann loan scheme in a hassle free manner.