In the last 10 months, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) received as many as 608 complaints against the Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank), the Ministry of Finance stated in the Lok Sabha on March 2. These complaints are related to various banking matters such as ATM debit or credit cards, mobile banking and levy of charges without prior notice, among others. This comes at a time when the J&K Bank is already mired in numerous allegations from political nexus with local leaders to illegal appointments.
As per the RBI data, the J&K Bank has reported Rs 7,711.60 crore worth of gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and Rs 2,810.32 crore worth of net non-performing assets during December quarter.
In August last year, when the central government abrogated Article 370 which granted special status to the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into two union territories, the status of the J&K Bank came under question as the erstwhile state owned 59.3% of the equity in it and the bank had so far functioned as an autonomous entity.
On this, the RBI has recently clarified that the J&K Bank is a scheduled private sector bank, licensed under section 22(1) of Banking Regulation Act, 1949, which is licensed, regulated and supervised by the apex bank.
On February 28, the present Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council (JKAC) scrapped a recruitment process which was notified by the bank in 2018 for filling 1450 posts citing 'legal infirmities'. While the complete rationale behind the sudden move was not provided by the JKAC, aspirants are protesting demanding the bank and administration to continue the recruitment process.
Furthermore, in last June, the Jammu and Kashmir Anti-corruption Bureau suspected irregular transactions in the J&K Bank due to alleged political nexus among bankers, politicians and businessmen to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.
The J&K Bank is also facing allegations of illegal appointments as youth and political parties are demanding probe into the alleged 3,000 illegal appointments made in the bank during the PDP-BJP regime.