Urging governor’s administration to roll back its recent order to convert J&K Bank into a public sector undertaking, employees of the bank under the banner of All India J&K Bank Officers Federation (AIJKBOF) on Wednesday announced a protest programme against the decision.
“Tomorrow (Thursday) we will be holding a peaceful protest at 9:30 am at the corporate office and on Friday at the zonal office,” said Tassaduq Madni, president of the federation, in a press conference here.
“We are still waiting for the final notification of the government. In case the decision is not rolled back we will be forced to continue the strike.”
Madni said all the bank branches and ATMs on the days of protest programme will function normally adding that a co-ordination committee of the bank employees has been formed in collaboration with the workmen union.
He put out an “ultimatum” for the government warning it to what he said stop interfering in the bank affairs saying employees will not hesitate in sacrificing all personal resources to ensure “state government no more remains the majority stakeholder in the bank”.
“At present the state has Rs 32 crore worth shares in the bank which comes upto Rs 1253 crore with the present share value of the bank. In worst case scenario we are even ready to sell our homes and put together the amount and return it back to the government to free the bank from its control,” Madni said.
Madni said employees of J&K Bank have always contributed for the well-being of common people especially in times of distress. “If government hold 59.3 percent stake in the bank, why are rest of 41 per cent stakeholders which is common people being ignored and why have they not been taken on-board before taking such a vital decision,” Madni said. “We are 14000 employees of J&K Bank across the country and with our families 70,000 people who are a part of us. We urge the government not to politicise the bank and let employees function smoothly,” Madni said.
Madni said the J&K Bank employees were hopeful that government will merge some of the smaller loss-making banks with J&K Bank considering its “healthy growth trajectory” but instead government has decided to make the bank meet the fate of other loss-making PSUs of the state.
“We unequivocally condemn the SAC decision as the issue is not just about a bank it is a larger issue of the character of a great financial institution,” Madni said.
Also present at the press conference was Mehrajudin Shah, President of the Kashmir chapter of the J&K Bank officers Association who informed the media that a detailed meeting of the officers was held earlier in the day to discuss the recent government decision.