J&K Bank incurs crores on billboards every year

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Srinagar, Dec 24 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, a private sector bank with more than 500 branches across the country, is incurring an expenditure of crores of rupees on designing and erecting thousands of new billboards every year, sources said today.

They said those at the helm of affairs in the Jammu and Kashmir Bank order thousands of new billboards ever year to allegedly raise ''big bucks'' for themselves and extend ''undue'' advantage to a particular section of people.

''The signboards and billboards are in good condition and could have been used for years to come. But, the authorities discard these billboards and order fresh ones every year at every branch, thus incurring an expenditure of crores of rupees only for personal monetary gains,'' the sources said.

A UNI correspondent found several such billboards lying as junk in the compounds of many bank branches in the city.

''The height of things is that even the discarded billboards and signboards carry new logo and the latest design. So, the reasoning that fresh billboards have been ordered only to print new logo and design on these has no justification,'' the sources added.

''The ultimate goal of the people at the helm is to build their own coffers. These billboards incur an expenditure of crores of rupees every year to the Jammu and Kashmir Bank,'' they said.

The sources said the profit of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank has considerably shrunk in the recent past as depicted in the audit-unaudited account for September quarter.

''Despite this poor performance over a period of time, the Bank management is indulging in unnecessary expenditure on billboards and other activities,'' they added.

The sources said gains from the pension fund have been appropriated to show higher profit in the Bank quarter results.

''The Bank management has resorted to statistical jugglery to enhance the profit graph in its quarter results,'' they added.

Three years ago, the sources said the Jammu and Kashmir Bank had achieved the distinction of being number one bank among the non-nationalised banks in the CRISIL rating.

''Today, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank does not even figure in the CRISIL rating,'' they added.

The sources further claimed that Jammu and Kashmir Bank chairman Haseeb Drabu was not taking cognisance of such mal-practices because the people with vested interest give him an impression that everything was going ''wonderfully well'' in the organisation.

Meanwhile, scores of customers complained of deteriorating services in the Bank.

''The administration in the Jammu and Kashmir Bank is in a state of total paralysis. The work culture in its offices is going from bad to worse day-by-day. There is no accountability at all,'' said Tariq Ahmed, a customer.

Ghulam Mohammad, another customer, said the Jammu and Kashmir Bank was once known for its customer care.

''But, today the Jammu and Kashmir Bank is completely lacking in customer care and other services. Nobody seems to be bothered or even answerable to its millions of customers,'' he added.

The customers have sought immediate intervention of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank chairman in saving the company. They also sought considerable improvement in the functioning and services of the Bank so that its customer base and profits does not shrink further in future.

UNI

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