KL News Network
J&K Bank Chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmad on Saturday indicated that the results of Relationship Executive (REs) are being announced “very soon”. He was speaking at a function organized for the launch of High Density Apple Plantation Scheme that was presided over by the Chief Minister.
“We will be having many REs now with the agriculture background who will help take the scheme take the next level,” Ahmad told in his speech. “We will be having a special section at central and zonal levels that will monitor this scheme.”
Explaining Bank’s stake-holding in the local agricultural economy, Ahmad said that apple contributes eight percent to state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as 25 percent of the overall population of the state, mostly in Kashmir is related with the apple. “The new scheme will take the percentage contribution to 20 percent,” he said.
Ahmad said bank has already taken the apple economy of the state very seriously. In fact, he was personally associated with various apple related bank products. “When I started, the bank had an exposure of only Rs 400 crores covering only 16,000 growers,” Ahmad said. “Now it has reached to Rs 3,000 exposure involving 1.30,000 growers.” He said the sector being so closely interlinked with the socio-economic life of the state, it has massive potential once the high density takes off.
On basis of the inputs of the audience, mostly growers, and on the intervention of Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti, Parvez Ahmad announced that the bank will ideate a product that will take care of the financial requirements of the growers till their old orchards are replanted. This, however, will take some more time.
Later, S K Baht, chief finance officer of the bank announced that on the directions of the Chairman, the bank will reduce the costs of the loan – required for high density plantation from 9.9 percent to 9.5 percent. He said once the scheme takes off, there is possibility of revisiting the cost structure of the debt part. “After apple, all other economies of the state are either lateral or collateral,” Bhat said. “This is because apple and Kashmir are complementary.”
Later, talking to Kashmir Life on the side lines of the event, Parvez Ahmad said that the bank is fast forwarding the process of results of the REs. “If everything goes by as per the script, we should have the new lot of our executives joining us well before this financial year ends,” he said. “Now, I hope, I have made it clear.”
Earlier, Chief Minister asked the Bank to be more sensitive towards the fund requirements of the farmers, especially the horticulture. “They survived the economy in the worst time,” she said. “They must get every help they require.”