Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday threw his weight behind the employees of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, saying that safeguarding the autonomy and operational independence of the bank "remains a key objective of the state government."
"The board of the bank is the appropriate forum for taking and implementing all decisions of Jammu and Kashmir Bank. Safeguarding the autonomy and operational independence of the bank is the key objective of the state government at all times," said Governor Malik in a statement.
Last month, the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by the Governor approved a proposal for treating Jammu and Kashmir Bank as a public sector undertaking (PSU), within the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
After meeting a delegation of the bank employees, Governor Malik reassured them that the bank is a premier institution of the state and its financial health and future growth is of utmost importance to the state. "Therefore, the state government will support all initiatives and take the necessary steps to make the bank a vibrant institution," he said.
The Governor, in a statement, underscored that the employees should not be concerned about their employment, future prospects or salary structure under any circumstances. "The board of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank is competent to take decisions in this regard and the powers vest in the board. No changes are being contemplated on this front," he added.
"As far as the PSU matter is concerned, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank is regulated by the RBI as an old generation private sector bank, by the Registrar of Companies as it is a government company under the Companies Act and by SEBI as it is a listed company. It will continue to be regulated by the RBI, SEBI and the Registrar of Companies. No changes are being made here or contemplated," Malik elaborated.
As a government company, Jammu and Kashmir Bank is a public authority under the Right to Information Act (RTI) and hence is automatically subject to the transparency provisions of RTI. "Nothing new is being imposed in this regard. Transparency is good for the bank in the long term," he was further quoted saying so in the statement.
"As far as the accountability to the legislature is concerned, all government owned/controlled companies, including Jammu and Kashmir Bank are accountable to the legislature in some respect. This is what has been stated in the SAC decision. This does not add any new element. However, in view of the concerns expressed, and to give comfort to employees, the government will re-examine the issue of accountability to the legislature," added the statement.
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