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J&K Bank CMD was scamster number one, says J&K Chief Secretary

Scam stories in Jammu and Kashmir are unique in their own way and the CMD of Jammu and Kashmir Bank was scamster number one, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has said.

The officer said that the separatists made Jammu and Kashmir almost like Pakistan and he was told by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before his appointment as the Chief Secretary in the then full-fledged state in June 2018 to clean up the administration, rebuild the region and hand it over to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Scam stories about J&K are unique in their own way. This is the only place in the country which has its own bank. No state government had their own banks," Subrahmanyam said on the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

All erstwhile rulers of Indian states had their own banks, like Bikaner, Jaipur, Hyderabad, and Mysore that were just associated banks of State Bank of India, and they all have now merged, he said.

"The J&K Bank CMD is the scamster number one. I knew it from day one…. It was identified through its lovely way of milking the state… they politicians) were milking the state directly through the bank. There are about 20 families or a maximum of 30 who milked the J&K Bank. The common man does not know it."

"Because it is a banking institution and one does not want to disturb it," the 1987-batch IAS officer said, "common people think J&K Bank is a showpiece of the region, but it is different when I bring out the truth."

The officer said that J&K Bank guesthouses are luxuries and its officials' lifestyles are big. "The pay scales of the bank staff beat the private sector, and all this goes on government money. That is the worst part," he said. The officer said he got a resolution passed in the Cabinet in November 2018 on the issue.

"If we own 60 per cent, so you are a public-sector bank. It's a statement of fact. It's not a decision. You will be submitting your annual report to the legislators. You will be subject to the jurisdiction of the RTI (Right to Information) and you will follow CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) norms.

"All Public-Sectors Banks follow these norms. I had an agitation on my hand for 20 days; the bank was closed and it was said that the identity of Jammu and Kashmir has been wiped out and PSUs have rotten in J&K.

"But, it's a statement of fact that they (politicians) don't want scrutiny of the bank. The Finance Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir had an agreement that they would not raise questions on J&K Bank in front of Assembly Speaker in the Union Territory because they knew that they would be naked. It is only because of these scams."

The Chief Secretary said he has a 'black diary' and its three pages are full of scams. "If I go into scams, all will be caught. Everybody is complacent."

He said that the separatist speaks 'ham bane Pakistan (we will be Pakistan) "(They) made (Jammu and Kashmir) Pakistan. This is how Pakistan is run. Sixteen families control Pakistan and 600 families control Jammu and Kashmir. There is no difference. That is the story before the Governor's rule came in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018."

Subrahmanyam was appointed as the Chief Secretary in place of BB Vyas on June 20, 2018, the day when the erstwhile state was put under the Governor's rule after the three-year-old PDP-BJP coalition government collapsed on June 19, 2018.

The Chhattisgarh-cadre officer said these scams are the reason he was brought here as the Chief Secretary from another state because "I have no open friends" here.

"It's a fact of life… there is a lot of cleaning required in the system. The government said that there have to be reservations in promotions, pass the Acts and pass the rules. Somebody approaches the court and the court strikes it down. Can you believe, the state does not appeal against it. It does not appeal against its rules struck down in a High Court. Nobody knows about it… it's a cover-up operation of the highest level."

Subrahmanyam said that when he came to Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed him to do three things — clean up the place, better the system, and return back to them their heritage..