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CS inaugurates J&K Bank initiatives under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Prog

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SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, on Wednesday said that J&K Bank has been doing well and in very difficult times. 

“I urge you to keep up your spirit of being the best and focus on digital banking in a big way. With digital being the future, you need to set goals for yourself by imagining what the Bank would look like five years from now and start working towards it,” said Dr Mehta.

He made these remarks in presence of Bank’s MD & CEO Baldev Prakash amid a huge round of applause today after launching multiple initiatives of J&K Bank – aimed at encouraging self-reliance in people – under the ongoing nationwide 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav program organised at corporate headquarters. Mission Director JK Rural Livelihood Mission (RLM) Indu Kanwal Chib, Bank’s General Managers, Deputy General Managers, and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Acknowledging the unparalleled emotional connection between the Bank and the people of J&K, Dr A K Mehta – who was also Chief Guest at the event – urged the Bank to strengthen the bond further by focusing on roughly 20 lac students of the UT under its financial literacy program. “Every child in the school should be financially aware and have a bank account, for this is his/her first step in the journey towards financial independence and self-reliance.”

Chief Secretary advised the Bank to prepare for a new horizon of growth and prosperity and said, “I feel proud to say that J&K is one of the four economies of the country that never had negative growth. The target of five Lakh employment that the UT Government has envisaged for banks to generate is very much realistic given the kind of economic activity witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir. So J&K Bank needs to gear up fully to capitalise on the huge upcoming business opportunities with J&K economy sure to double in less than five years.”

“Tourism has more than doubled from last year and will grow manifold with the completion of railway connectivity next year. I believe you have a great future and let’s grow together with J&K Bank,” he added.

The multiple initiatives inaugurated on the occasion included organizing Financial Literacy Programs along with an account opening drive in 75 High/Higher Secondary Schools of the UT in the month of September, engaging 75 Digipay Sakhis trained by JK RLM as Business Correspondents of the Bank in J&K besides providing a rebate of 75 BPS to women borrowers on education loan from September 1 to March 31st, 2023 across the country.

Dr A K Mehta also felicitated ten First Gen Entrepreneurs financed by the Bank through various schemes and e-inaugurated ten new touch-points of the Bank including two Branches, five ATMs, and three Easy Banking Units (EBU). Under the program, the Bank also conducted a blood donation camp at the CHQ and Zonal Office Jammu. 

Earlier, spelling out the purpose of the function in his welcome address, MD & CEO Baldev Prakash said, “As part of the ongoing country-wide Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, the purpose of this gathering here today is to reiterate our commitment to the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat through initiatives aimed at encouraging self-reliance of individuals, groups, and society at the large beginning with public awareness about financial independence.”

While giving a detailed overview of the Bank’s vital role in the socio-economic development of J&K, he also highlighted the Bank’s role in implementing the various government initiatives and said, “While commanding the major market-share of banking business in J&K, the bank has always taken a lead role in implementing various initiatives taken by the Central and UT Government for poverty alleviation and employment generation. The bank also upholds the highest share in the disbursement of credit under Employment Generation and other Government Sponsored Schemes in the UT of J&K.

“During the last financial year, the Bank has organized 1125 camps across the UT wherein people have been made aware of the basics of financial literacy besides informing them about the financial products and services available in the market for their economic development and well-being. Similar emphasis is being placed on providing self-employment trainings to J&K youth. In this regard, the Bank’s RSETIs have conducted 142 such programs during the last year and trained 3280 young men and women with 1154 of them now having their own self-employment ventures after being linked with the Bank credit,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mission Director JK RLM, Indu Chib expressed her profound gratitude to the Bank for engaging 75 Digipay Sakhis and requested the management to also involve the RLM-trained Sakhis in organisation of the Bank’s financial literacy programs.

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