Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Story Behind J&K Bank's Success: Indian taxpayer/Treasury contributing zillions in interest payments to cover State Overdrafts

The Flip Side of Success: A Hush-Hush Tale of J&K State's Dependency on Overdrafts From the J&K Bank Not Normally Allowed Under the Reserve Bank of India Rules (two related stories) .....


Net profit in nine months recorded above Rs.300 crore

Srinagar: J&K Bank recorded a 30% rise in net profit on the back of significant rise in Interest Income on loans & advances and Other Income. The net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 rose to Rs 109.16 crore from Rs. 83.89 Crore compared with the corresponding period a year a go. For the nine months of this fiscal, bank has reported a 31% rise in net profit at Rs.300.20 crore from Rs.229.21 crore. The Loan Book as on December 31, 2007 stood at Rs.18287 crore up 23.30% from last year’s Rs.14381 crore. Due to the volume growth in Advances and improvement in yields, the interest income on advances went up significantly by 41.80% over the corresponding quarter of the pervious year. As on December 31, 2007 banks deposit base stood at Rs.26527 crore from Rs.20296 crore a year back registering an increase of 30.70%.


ODs cross Rs 2288 cr, up by Rs 98 cr in 1 year
Govt mulls long term debt

JAMMU, Feb 2: Overdrafts of the State Government with Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd (JKBL) have constantly been on rise. Ever increasing Overdrafts have forced the Finance Ministry to consider replacement of structural part of ODs by a long term debt.

Presently, the J&K Government had an Overdraft of Rs 2288.21 crore. Overdrafts have now been divided into two categories—Normal Overdrafts (OD-I) and Power Overdrafts (OD-II)
While OD-I stood at Rs 2092.57 crore, OD-II was to the tune of Rs 195.64 crore, a Finance Ministry document said.

In January last year, the ODs stood at Rs 2190 crore—Rs 1942 crore as normal overdraft and Rs 248 crore as power account overdraft.

Figures revealed an increase of Rs 98 crore in ODs in last one year.

The Overdraft amounted to 15.33 per cent in 1996-97 and went upto 18.37 per cent in 1997-98. Overdrafts at the end of third quarter of last year i.e. December 31, 2007 was Rs 2110 crore i.e. below the March 2007 level.

The Government proposed to make every effort to bring down Overdrafts in first instance to 14.5 per cent of expenditure, the document said.

It added that a very large part of Overdrafts has assumed the character of a "structural deficit" which is required to be broken into current level of ODs into two components—a long term liability and a short term "ways and means" facility.

"The first component can be overcome through a combination of grant from the Central Government, issue of bonds by the State Government and raising of additional market borrowings", the document observed but noted "the most practical way and perhaps the only way to go forward is to replace the structural part of Overdraft by a long-term debt".
The Finance Ministry attributed power deficit as one of the major reason for Overdrafts.
The Government has admitted that bills were pending in treasuries but majority of payments were being cleared at regular intervals. Total pending bills in all treasuries of the State amounted to Rs 551.66 crore a fortnight ago. The amount include Rs 85 crore payable to Food Corporation of India (FCI). Total pending bills in Civil Secretariat treasury were Rs 129.51 crore, sources said.

Rs 6.06 crore worth bills for salary, pension and wages have been cleared. Other outstanding liabilities which the Government has cleared during last two months include salary, pension, wages, CDF, TE-OE-POL/drug and diet, cash assistance to migrants, gratuity commutation, GP Fund, contractors, firms, material/supplied and self help group payments.

The railway land compensation was Rs 8.19 crore only but the bills received during 2007-08 amounted to Rs 20.07 crore. Bills aggregating Rs 11.88 crore stand cleared, sources said.

(Daily Excelsior Report)

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