For the immediate revival of the flood-hit economy of the Jammu and Kashmir, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given go ahead to the major part of the relief-cum-rehabilitation package devised by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) in consultation with Ministry of Finance (GoI) and recommended by J&K SLBC last month. The package is one of the most liberal loan policies ever devised in the country.
Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh stated this at the launching function of ‘Jammu and Kashmir Special Credit-cum-Relief Camps’ here at SKICC Srinagar in presence of State Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Chairman Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) T M Bhasin, J&K Bank Chairman & CEO Mushtaq Ahmad, Principal Secretary Finance J&K, B B Vyas, Joint Secretary (MoF) Alok Tandon, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Rohit Kansal, top government officials, officers from RBI, senior functionaries of all the banks, prominent citizens and a huge number of flood affected persons from the valley.
“The package includes mainly the re-structuring and re-scheduling of the loan repayments besides provision for fresh loans on softer terms by the banks. The need of the hour is to educate the people about the benefits of the package and convince them about its significance in the economic revival of J&K”, he said.
Earlier, Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather stressed upon the bankers to take extra-ordinary measures for the extra-ordinary situation people of the state are beset with.
He said, “The after-effects of the flood have to be dealt with effectively and the role of banks become very important in this context. We are thankful to IBA, MoF and SLBC for devising a package in relaxation of RBI guidelines.”
J&K Bank has to lead from the front as always, but all the other banks operating in the state must come forward to help the people during these desperate times, he added.
During his address, Chairman J&K Bank Mushtaq Ahmad welcomed all the dignitaries and thanked IBA and MoF for their guidance and help in drafting and sanctioning of the package.
He said, “These floods have affected 20 out of 22 districts of the state destroying 5794 villages, affecting 1527000 families, claiming hundreds of lives, thousands of homes and business establishments.”
“Notwithstanding the scores of tragic tales of loss among the staff and despite being among the worst hit, the entire bank staff worked round the clock to ensure complete restoration of banking services at most of the delivery points in the valley”, he said.
Reiterating the bank’s commitment to stand by the people of J&K in all situations, he said, “We have a shared grief and our loss is collective. However the need of the moment is to look forward. We need to cooperate and move together to come out of these testing times with a positive attitude towards growth and development of our society and economy.”
Earlier, Chairman IBA T M Bhasin gave a detailed overview of the banking scenario that obtained after the floods devastated the state besides conception, deliberation and the approval of relief-cum-rehabilitation package for flood affected people of the state.
He said, “We are here to start a new programme under the title of ‘Hum saath hain’ to convey that all the banks are in complete solidarity with the flood-hit people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
J&K Bank President S K Bhat conducted the proceedings of the event and presented the vote of thanks.