Separate MD, Chairman For J&K Bank

Separate MD, Chairman For J&K Bank

Almost 16 years after A S Ganguly Committee recommended bifurcation of the post of Managing Director and Chairman of the banks, Jammu and Kashmir government finally recognized the same need for Jammu and Kashmir Bank. On Friday, it approved the appointment of senior vice president of HDFC Bank Zubair Iqbal as the new managing director of the Bank. R K Chibber will continue as the bank’s chairman for the next three years, as per separate orders issued by the additional secretary to the finance department.
The decision of bifurcation of the top posts of the J&K’s top financial institution followed repeated requests by Reserve Bank of India in this regard.  In June last year, the Board of Directors of J&K Bank had also recommended the appointment of a separate chairman and a managing director of the bank.
Last year, the then state Administrative Council approved the proposal for treating the J&K Bank Limited as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). It has been already brought under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) guidelines, and the J&K Legislature. Established in 1938, the J&K Bank Ltd is the only government promoted bank with the J&K administration currently holding 59.3 percent of the shares.
The bifurcation of the chairman and MD posts has already fructified for public sector banks. The splitting of the leadership of the board from the day-to-day running of the business is expected to bring about more focus and vision, as well as give the necessary thrust to the functioning of the top management of the J&K bank. It would also provide effective checks and balances. The appointment of Zuffar Iqbal as MD and extension in the tenure of R K Chibber comes at a time when the financial institution and various communities linked to it, especially business, are facing complex scenarios. The situation due to COVID-19 pandemic has added to more fiscal distress to all institutions and J&K bank is no exception. One hopes at this point in time that the bifurcation decision would live up to the aim behind it and the persons who have been chosen to discharge the responsibilities match their talent and experience. The Jammu and Kashmir Bank will now have 10 Directors on the Board including the Chairman and the MD. All of them should work together to take the J&K bank to new heights and for the present, the mission should be to revive its past glory and trust.