Kashmir: Banking takeover by RBI decried

Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir): Both separatists and main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), criticized “handing over” of some of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank functions to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). They plead that the same would affect the already shattered economy of the state.

The RBI on January 21 came up with a statement about signing of an agreement that has made it to take over the role of providing overdraft facilities to the state government from Jammu and Kashmir Bank. The agreement shall be effective from April this year.

Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq here on January 24 said that the move was akin to accepting “economic supremacy” and playing with the sentiments of people in the state. The spokesman of the amalgam said “it would garner public support in its efforts to counter the decision”. JKLF chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik on January 28 said that the take over of bank by RBI would further “dent the already shattered economy”.

PDP said “the move was the first step towards liquidation of bank as a state-owned company and the last nail in state’s autonomy”. However, Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather in Jammu on January 24 said “the new arrangement is a major structural reform measure which is in overall interest and benefit of people, depositors, J&K Bank and government”.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2011 on page no. 15

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