Describing the three regions of the State as a perfect example of a harmonious society, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Saturday sought support across the country in changing public perception about J&K, which has gone through very difficult and turbulent times.
The Chief Minister said J&K has been an epitome of coexistence and its people have voted in large numbers to strengthen the institution of democracy.
Mufti Sayeed said this while chairing the inaugural function of the BoDs Meeting of National Federation of State Cooperative Banks (NAFSCOB), here at SKICC this afternoon.
Minister for Finance, employment and culture Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Minister for Public Works, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Cooperatives, Chering Dorjey, Vice-Chairmen, NAFSCOB, Baghat Singh and Avtar Singh Zeera, Chairman, State Cooperative Bank, Mohammad Shafi Dar, MD NAFSCOB, B. Subramanyam, Registrar Cooperatives, J&K, and senior officers of J&K and members of NAFSCOB were present on the occasion.
Asking the delegates of NAFSCOB to be the State’s messengers in transforming public perception in the country about J&K, the Chief Minister said the State has been an example of cultural integration and every national meeting or a conference held here helps in putting the things in the right perspective. “J&K is unity in diversity. The hospitality of our people is known far and wide,” he said while describing the distinct cultures of its three regions as its greatest strength.
Referring to the great Buddhist culture that continues to survive despite hostile climatic conditions, Mufti Sayeed urged the people to strengthen the cultural diversity of the State. “Kashmir and Jammu also have rich cultural heritage that needs to be projected amongst the people visiting the State,” he added.
Making a mention of the devastating floods of 2014 which wreaked havoc by washing away houses and destroying public and private property, the Chief Minister said the State relies heavily on the core sector of tourism to revive its economy. “We seek your support in conveying this message that J&K is ready to invite the guests and tourists to the paradise on earth,” he stated.
Emphasizing upon the need to revive rural economic activities, including the agro-based and cottage industries, Mufti Sayeed said the institutional finance to the people from Cooperative Banks can play a vital role. “I have asked my Finance Minister to amalgamate all Cooperative Banks in the State under one roof so that it becomes a potent institution of rural financing,” he said, while asking the Cooperative institutions to carve out a niche for itself in becoming viable institutions.
Going down memory lane, the Chief Minister referred to the strong and vibrant Cooperative movement of the Sixties and the Seventies in the shape of multi-purpose marketing, credit and consumer societies, when these institutions were held in high esteem by one and all. “We need to find an out-of-box solution so that the golden era of Cooperative banking is revived in the State,” he added.
Asking the delegates from J&K to avail the rare opportunity to have interaction with the national experts on Cooperative movement, Mufti Sayeed called for drawing a comprehensive roadmap for revival and development of rural sector in the State.
Referring to the Agenda of the Alliance of the Coalition partners, the Chief Minister said the State Government will also explore the possibility of providing essential commodities to the people in rural areas through Cooperative societies.
Making a pointed reference to the remarkable network of Cooperative banks spread across the country, Minister for Finance, in his address, announced the Government’s decision to recapitalize all the Cooperative institutions in the State. “I advise the Cooperative banks to concentrate on their area of expertise. They should become micro-financiers of the State and their focus should be on localized sectors,” he added.
The Finance Minister also said he will examine the possibility of leaving certain core sectors of rural financing with the Cooperative Banks so that they are able to focus on their domain expertise.
Minister for Cooperatives, Chering Dorjey, said the proposed capital infusion of Rs. 278 crore will prove to be an elixir for Cooperative banks in the State, enabling these to regain vibrancy and work with renewed zeal and commitment. He further said the Government has signed a MoU for availing a recapitalization package, with Central Government and NABARD chipping in 50% of the total share.