Srinagar: In an attempt to address the ballooning controversy over the J&K Government’s recent move to turn J&K Bank into a Public Sector Undertaking, the Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday offered an assur nce to review the bank’s accountability to state legislature.
However, Malik said the bank will be subject to Right to Information as it will usher in transparency in the functioning of the institution.
The governor issued the statement after meeting a delegation of employees of J&K Bank who have been holding protests over the past some days.
The government’s decision to turn J&K Bank, an old generation private sector bank, into a PSU has also run up against opposition by all major political parties except the BJP.
“As a Government Company, J&K 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,” Malik said in a statement titled “Governor’s assurance”.
“As far as the accountability to the legislature is concerned, all Government Owned/Controlled Companies, including J&K Bank which is registered as a Government Company, are accountable to the legislature in some respect…… However, in view of the concerns expressed, and to give comfort to employees, the government will re-examine the issue of accountability to legislature,” the statement added.
However, this is unlikely to address the ongoing controversy. The protesters including the major political parties comprising National Conference, PDP and Congress want complete reversal of the decision to turn the bank into a PSU.
Former finance minister of the state, Haseeb Drabu who has also served as the J&K Bank chairman, has, termed the decision as an “unqualified disaster” and “thoughtless and regressive”.