CPM leader and former MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday demanded that the J&K Bank, which is mired in controversy, should be brought under the ambit of the legislature and RTI for its transparent functioning.

In a statement, Tarigami said that the probe against corruption, nepotism and favouritism in the Bank by the government is a better late than never step and “we” had been maintaining from last several years that fraudulent recruitment exercises were going on in the Bank and huge loans were sanctioned to the kith and kin of influential persons in violation of laid down norms.

“We had been demanding transparency in the functioning of the Bank and that is why we demanded that it should be brought under the ambit of legislature and Right to Information Act (RTI). Time and again we were saying it on the floor of the Assembly, but unfortunately the successive governments didn’t allow it to happen,” he said.

If there was nothing to hide, the functioning of the Bank should have been put in the public domain. The argument by some vested interests that due to the action against those involved in fraudulent recruitments and financial transactions, the Bank will collapse is hilarious. Keeping every wrongdoing in the Bank under the carpet is in the interests of vested interests and not the common people.

Tarigami said the ambit of the present probe should not be limited to the last three or four years only, but it should be widened and if any wrongdoings happened in the previous governments that too should be probed and responsibility fixed.

The Bank will strengthen only when there is transparency. The credibility of the Bank in the public eye will increase when there is transparency and favouritism, nepotism, and corruption are curbed.

He said people are being misled on the question of eroding autonomy of the Bank by bringing it under the ambit of RTI and legislature. He hoped the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which has registered a case of corruption and nepotism against the Bank authorities, will take the probe to its logical conclusion and all those found guilty of wrongdoings are punished.

Also giving a regional colour to the administrative changes is wrong and no politics should be played over it. J&K Bank is the collective asset of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

The selection process of appointing a new chairman and MD must be carried out in a transparent manner so that the new management is competent, professional and honest to provide all the requisite services to the people and business community of the state, Tarigami added.

The selection process of appointing a new chairman and MD must be carried out in a transparent manner so that the new management is competent, professional and honest to provide all the requisite services to the people and business community of the state, Tarigami added.