All the major banks operating in Jammu and Kashmir have agreed to start the local recruitment drive in the state.
This assurance was given after state Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu suggested to them that it will help them in boosting their Credit Deposit ratio and also create employment avenues.
The Minister asked the bankers to explore ways to exploit the local potential during a special session of State Level Bankers Committee.
The banks like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Kerala Bank agreed to the suggestion of exclusive local recruitment. Aditya Kohli representing HDFC bank informed the Minister that the bank has 73 branches in the state and almost all employees are local.
“We have around 900 employees in our banks here and all are local. As we expand, we will surely be recruiting more local people,” said Kohli.
Dr Drabu also asked the banks to enhance the credit deposit ratio by designing various state specific financial products. “CDR for Kashmir has improved, but in Jammu, it is hovering around 30 per cent and for Pir Panchal region it is even lower,” the Minister said, adding that “Government is going to heavily invest in public sector in the Pir Panchal region to invigorate its local economy.”
In another major development, SBI also agreed to buy season portfolio from J&K bank to improve their credit ratio. On the complaint of various bankers who highlighted impediments to improving CDR in the state, Dr Drabu agreed to take number of steps.
“The SARFAESI ACT cannot be implemented in the state due to its special position so we are drafting states own equivalent act that will suffice the need of banks operating in the state,” said the Minister.
The Finance Minister also announced to form an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) that will buy bad loans of state subjects from the outside banks. ?The company will be a state subject and it will give outside banks a way out to offload their bad loans,? the Minister said.
“We have a State Financial Corporation (SFC) and we will be looking into converting it into ARC,” he said.
In another major development, Drabu agreed to a proposal of Punjab National Bank to establish a Farmers Training Institute in the state for which state government will fully cooperate.
The Minister also asked the RBI to establish a Bankers Training Institute in the state.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan extended his full support for the sustainable economic development of the state. “We have lots of ideas on table and now it is time to implement the same on ground,” he said, adding that a group of major bankers and government representatives will be formed to ensure implementation.
RBI Governor said that our study has shown that there is tremendous opportunity in the field of investment in sectors like power, horticulture and Tourism.