Every NPA will be pursued in J&K, says Sitharaman

‘We will get back all the money taken away from banks,’ says Finance Minister

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said money swindled illegally from banks would be taken back, as she promised a major push to public sector banks in Jammu and Kashmir to further spur outside investment in the Union Territory.

“All the money taken away from the banks illegally will be taken back as the Government is actively pursuing the cases of loan defaulters, irrespective of whether they are in India or outside the country,” Ms. Sitharaman said in Jammu.

She said the non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banks had been a cause for worry.

“The Government ensured that their properties are attached, and through a legal process, sold or auctioned out and that money have been paid back to the banks,” she said.

She emphasised that every NPA would be pursued actively and that will apply to Jammu and Kashmir as well. “We will get back all the money taken away from the banks,” she said.

The warning comes at a time when Jammu and Kashmir’s industrial sector is in a distress and many industrial units were turning NPAs because of a host of issues, including the prolonged shutdowns, post-August 5 situation and the ongoing pandemic.

The Union Minister, however, stressed that reading down of Article 370 had brought transparency in the governance in Jammu and Kashmir and set the Union Territory on the path of development first time in over 70 years.

“Government procurement, recruitment, spending of its resources, taxation or deployment of resources or whatever it be, these things are now available online 24X7 and in a very transparent manner,” she said.

She said development was reaching to all sectors in a transparent manner. “Jammu and Kashmir’s economy will be doubled in next few years,” she added.

She said the Government would ensure more bank activities take place in Jammu and Kashmir, more public sector banks come here in all the districts so that every person had access to banking facilities and increase credit facility.

The Union Minister sought cooperation of the people in facilitating outsiders to set up their units in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I will invite more youth to come forward to set up their businesses in Jammu and Kashmir. Of course, with more activities on the ground, we may attract people from everywhere else to partner with you,” she said.

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