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Jammu & Kashmir Bank getting Grameen

Jammu
Jan 23, 2007:

Inspired by the success of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Jammu and Kashmir Bank is also stepping into microfinance to replicate its economic advantages in the state.

"J&K Bank would soon have a separate Jammu and Kashmir Grameen Bank for micro lending," Chairman J&K Bank Haseeb Drabu told reporters in Jammu Monday.

Drabu added that the Bank was acting not only as a money lender but also as a socially responsible institution. The Bank has already started micro financing people in Srinagar, Budgam, Jammu, Kupwara, Ladakh and R S Pura.

Drabu said since the last six months the Bank was micro-financing vendors of Srinagar selling second hand garments on streets like Polo View on Sundays, vegetable vendors of Jammu and farmers cultivating rice in R S Pura and small orchardists.

"The Sunday market in Srinagar is a Rs. 6 crore business a month. We've have a turnaround of Rs. 1.8 crore from them every week," said Drabu, also the economic advisor of the government since January 2003.

Drabu informed that the Bank was thinking of fragmenting various sectors like investment, financing, deposits and micro lending.

"We haven't tapped the entire potential for banking in the state as yet," Drabu said adding that right now the bank had no interest in reviving its two branches in Pakistan administrated Kashmir.

The Bank also financed Baglihar power project in the state with an investment of Rs. 200 crore in it. "We are also financing the power projects in Himachal Pradesh and Uttranchal," he informed.

About the Bank's social responsibilities, Drabu said that it was offering the cheapest housing and vehicle loans at 8.5 and 9 per cent.

"We don't have hidden costs and out EMIs are low. We've no concept of penal rate," he added

"We don't have hidden costs and out EMIs are low. We've no concept of penal rate," he added.

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