Monday, September 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Yashwant Sinha assures all help to J&K
Tribune News Service

Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha (left) receives flowers from a schoolgirl
Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha (left) receives flowers from a schoolgirl as Jammu and Kashmir Governor Girish Chander Saxena (centre) and Jammu and Kashmir Bank Chairman M.Y. Khan look on before the inauguration of the corporate headquarters of the bank in Srinagar on Sunday. — Reuters photo

Srinagar, September 2
Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha here today said South Asia was facing with the challenge of poverty and stressed the need to fight it in a constructive manner. Blaming Pakistan for creating tension in the region, he said these challenges and constraints would be fought only in a peaceful and conducive atmosphere.

“We still hope that Pakistan will see reason and will negotiate with a constructive frame of mind”, Mr Sinha said while addressing a function after the inauguration of much awaited building for the corporate headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank here today.

The Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Mr Girish Chander Saxena, presided over the function and the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, was the chief guest. Mr Sinha said all issues would be resolved only through negotiations with the neighbouring country. He added that Pakistan was facing more difficulties on the financial front and peaceful approach was only solution to end such difficulties.

The Finance Minister said the Centre would extend all possible help to the state to overcome financial difficulties. He said the Centre was committed to provide all possible assistance for the development of this trouble-torn state.

“It is the repository of hopes and aspirations of the population of Jammu and Kashmir”, Mr Sinha commented while referring to the performance of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank over the years. He added that in spite of the factors that are causing recession in banks and financial institutions in the world there was an encouraging performance from the Bank.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, referred to the “depression in economy” faced by the state and sought the Centre’s help in this regard. He asked the Centre to take measures for reviving the tourism industry.

The Chief Minister also urged the Centre to make use of water resources in the valley by constructing more power projects that would provide electricity not only to the state but also to many parts of northern India. He regretted that there was an income of only Rs 270 crore from power consumers annually against the purchase of electricity for Rs 1000 crore.

The Chief Minister also referred to the autonomy demand. He said the 10-year old militancy had led to devastation in the state. He said the scenic beauty of Kashmir was its only treasure and there was need to rejuvenate the state economy. He stressed the need to strengthen the borders so as to prevent Pakistan sponsored militancy in the state.

Mr M.Y. Khan, Chairman of the Bank lauded the role of the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, for the establishment of the corporate headquarters which had taken shape after six decades of the establishment of the bank. “The Chairman stated that its total business turnover crossed Rs 16000 crore, showing an 88 per cent increase. The net profits of the bank recorded splendid growth from a meager Rs 1.77 crore in 1990 to Rs 165 crore for the year ended March 2001, showing a growth of 9200 per cent. The net worth of the bank has increased to Rs 700 crore. The bank’s net NPAs at 2.45 per cent are the lowest in the industry, Mr Khan stated.Back

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