Issues of JK Bank’s accountability, transparency must be addressed: Tarigami

Welcoming Governor Satya Pal Malik’s assurance of safeguarding the autonomy and operational independence of the J&K Bank, CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami on Wednesday said the issues of accountability and transparency must be addressed.

Last month, Malik-led State Administrative Council (SAC) approved a proposal for treating the J&K Bank Limited as a PSU, bringing it under the purview of the Right to Information Act, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner guidelines and the state legislature.

The move has come under widespread criticism. A delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Bank employees met Malik on Tuesday, following which he agreed to rethink the decision.

“It is good that representatives of the bank employees and the governor’s administration met and the issues have been clarified, which is a welcome step,” Tarigami said in a statement.

He said certain concerns, however, remained regarding transparency and accountability.

The CPI(M) leader said these issues must be specifically addressed as the people of the state have the right to know about the bank’s affairs.

Tarigami said former state finance minister Haseeb Drabu had pointed out in his budget speech in the last assembly session that there have been some serious lapses in corporate governance and management failures over the last few years at the J&K Bank.

“Does such a disturbing situation not demand a thorough discussion and debate in the legislature? It also demands a credible probe to fix the responsibility and also allow the legislature to suggest remedial measures,” he said.

He added that the bank’s autonomy has to be protected but it should not be used as a pretext to promote big business defaulters at the cost of ordinary customers.

Tarigami said autonomy should strengthen the bank and called for a debate on its affairs in the legislature.