‘Sacking of J&K Bank chairman in line with Centre’s policy of zero tolerance against corruption’
The sacking of J&K Bank Chairman Parvez Ahmed is in line with the Central government’s commitment of zero tolerance against corruption, terrorism and establishing rule of law, sources claimed on Sunday.
“The removal of the chairman of J&K Bank Parvez Ahmed is yet another step to combat corruption and bring the mighty corrupt people before the law,” they said.
In order to clamp down on terror funding and money laundering, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) was established in the state just a few months ago and the new ACB chief was appointed just two months back.
Sources said that after the sacking of Ahmed, the ACB started investigating several cases related to him. These cases include his meteoric rise from a Chartered Accountant (CA) to the chairman of the bank in a span of 15 years, despite being “a man with dubious credentials and shady reputation.”
It has also been alleged that in the Board of Directors, out of nine members, two are from the Valley — Chairman himself and a businessman Ashraf Mir.
Sources said Ahmed allegedly got his nephew, Muzaffar, posted into his office immediately after taking over as the bank’s chairman. His daughter-in-law Shazia Ambreen was appointed as a probationary officer (PO) and is currently heading the bank’s Hazratbal branch.
According to sources, two branches of J&K Bank — Kaprin Shopian and Wuyan Pulwama – used operate from Ahmed’s personal premises and that of his in-laws. The locations are non-feasible from the banking point of view, sources said.
Two of Ahmed’s relatives — Asif Beg and M Fahim — control HR and Board affairs of the bank including the credit proposals. Recently the bank signed an insurance deal with IFFKO TOKIO, where Ahmed’s sister’s son is working.
The ACB is also investigating the case regarding interiors of hundreds of the branches being allotted to select individuals for Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore a branch while the actual cost is only 30 per cent of the money paid, as sources claimed.
Shamsuddin Andrabi, 12th pass brother of former Minister Farooq Andrabi and relative of a former Chief Minister, was appointed directly a manager through back door and posted in the bank’s Bhaderwah branch, sources said.
It has also been alleged loans worth crores of rupees were allotted without performing formalities in a brazen violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines to select recommendees of Imran Ansari and Sajad Lone.
“ODs of hefty amounts were released to habitual defaulters of other banks. Many of such CC accounts turned NPAs. One-time settlements were done with select defaulters against huge kickbacks,” sources said.
A total of Rs 8 crore was allegedly spent under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on the beautification of Royal Spring Golf Course, which has no utility for common people.
“Paid ads worth Rs 10 lakh or Rs 30 lakh was released to ‘Kashmir Life’ to highlight the budget, which nobody saw. All these cases are being investigated by the newly formed ACB,” said sources.
Asserting that action against the high and mighty corrupt persons has been a high priority for Union Home Ministry headed by Amit Shah, sources said: “Various steps have been taken in this direction recently by the government agencies like ED, NIA, CBI, CBDT, and the state government.”
“In its efforts to crack down on corruption, nepotism, favoritism, and striking against the backdoor non-transparent employment, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had called for cleansing J&K Bank and bringing transparency and accountability in the functioning of the bank while ensuring compliance with the RBI directives to bring checks and balances,” sources said.
The Bank was also directed to separate the positions of Chairman and Managing Director for better governance and ensure a high level of financial probity.
Ahmed was removed from the post of the chairman of J&K Bank by the state government, and has appointed RK Chibber as the interim chairman of the Bank.
“Action against Ahmed and investigation into backdoor appointments, irregularities, alleged plunder is intended to cleanse the system, and help the Bank maintain its position as the leading bank in the state with a national footprint,” sources said. (ANI)