SRINAGAR: The government is committed to reducing unemployment at J&K and the financial sector must put in place an actionable mechanism to saturate self-employment at J&K by the end of November 2022. This was stated by Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta. while presiding over the 8th meeting of the Union Territory Level Bankers Committee in Srinagar to review the achievements of banks and financial institutions operating in Jammu and Kashmir for the six months ending September 2022.
He said banks must now move towards sustainable, fair and results-oriented banking services for lasting gains.
Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agricultural Production, Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries & Commerce, Prashant Goyal, MD & CEO, J&K Bank (Convenor J&K UTLBC) Baldev Prakash, Administrative Secretaries of Various Departments, Managing Director in Chief, NABARD, Dr. AK Sood and other senior government officials, RBI, NABARD, banks, operational departments, insurance companies were also present on the occasion. Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services, GoI Pankaj Sharma, District Development Commissioners from all J&K Districts and Key District Managers joined the meeting virtually.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Secretary, Dr. Mehta, said job creation is the government’s major challenge and it is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to address the issue.
“Banks need to come forward and provide financial assistance to young unemployed people to find gainful employment. We need to show empathy towards unemployed youth by guiding them to the path of prosperity and self-sufficiency through various credit facilities tailored to their entrepreneurial aspirations. We need to create an environment where young people need to think beyond government jobs and strengthen pathways to self-employment,” he said.
Earlier in his welcoming remarks, Managing Director and CEO of J&K Bank (Organizer J&K UTLBC) Baldev Prakash assured the J&K government that banks operating in J&K will give all possible support to the implementation of programs and programs aimed at the entrepreneurship development, job creation and poverty alleviation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
While appreciating banks for 100% coverage of unbanked villages by opening banking touchpoints under the national financial inclusion strategy program, Dr. Mehta urged banks to cover one remaining village in the part of the roadmap for the rapid opening of bank outlets in villages with more than 5,000 inhabitants. He ordered banks to speed up the rollout of physical branches in 10 identified villages with more than 3,000 inhabitants.
The Chief Secretary reiterated his earlier instructions to the J&K Government IT department to come up with a single portal for all job creation programs incorporating all J&K departments and banks.
Financial literacy in real terms, he said, was getting more people into banking. “Banks should work in tandem with the Department of Education to ensure that all school children have a bank account which is a true measure of the success of financial literacy and financial inclusion.”
Dr. Mehta urged banks to take advantage of the B2V4 program from October 27, 2022 to spread the information about various products/programs locally and identify potential aspirants.
Dr Mehta said the views of farmers must be taken into account in setting the scale of funding in agriculture and related sectors.
He urged for an increase in credit drawdowns under Mission Youth saying, “I am convinced that Mission Youth programs are the most attractive programs and more young people need to be covered by the program.” He said self-employment programs must be targeted in a targeted manner to SC/ST/OBC sections of society for inclusive growth.
While commending the performance of J&K under Prime Minister SVANidhi, he said that “J&K’s performance is among the best in the country and banks should expedite the disbursement of the 2nd installment under Prime Minister SVANidhi to eligible beneficiaries within a specified period of time. “.
The Chief Secretary urged banks to refrain from seeking collateral for loans where not required by standards and to operate within RBI standards/GOI schemes when processing loan applications.
Earlier, J&K Bank Managing Director, Syed Rais Maqbool, during a presentation on the financial achievements of various banks in different sectors in the first two quarters of the 2022-23 fiscal year, informed that J&K banks had achieved 44% of the annual credit plan target by disbursing credit of Rs.22,541.45 Crore to 7,46,141 beneficiaries. The agriculture and MSME sectors have performed well in lending to priority sectors.
He was informed that against the annual coverage target of 29,710 beneficiaries in the financial year 2022-23, banks have extended loans of Rs 955.54 crore to 24,225 beneficiaries in the framework of six major job creation programs during the first half of the 2022-23 financial year.
He informed that Rs.202.93 Crore have been disbursed to 3,104 beneficiaries under Mission Youth programs till September 30, 2022.
It was further informed that 14,703 KCC (harvest) and 15,543 KCC (AH) were issued during the first half of the 2022-23 financial year and that near saturation was reached under the program .
Against the quarterly goal of holding 651 financial literacy camps, 866 financial literacy camps were held in the quarter ending September 2022.
He further stated that the overall CD ratio in J&K decreased from 56.58% on 30.09.2021 to 58.46% on 30.09.2022.