State Bank of Sikkim celebrates golden jubilee

Conduct economic disparity survey, Chamling suggests to SBS Gangtok, 08 Sept [IPR]: State Bank of Sikkim celebrated its golden jubilee at Chintan Bhawan today in the presence of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling as chief guest. The programme began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the chief guest and dignitaries. The CM began his address by welcoming everyone and expressed his joy at seeing students in the gathering for, he said, they are the ones who will be responsible for the economic growth of the state in the future. He recalled the time when the State witnessed the inauguration of SBS in 1968 by the then Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. Encouraging the younger generation that change is necessary and to get stuck in obsolete traditions will bring them various obstacles, he said it is important to respect the old culture and to strike a balance between the two and bring changes through sensible development. Citing examples of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, he encouraged the students to arm themselves with the weapon of knowledge and go out to conquer the world, perhaps become Presidents of Banking Bodies, even the World Bank. He explained to them that Sikkim’s democracy is unique as it is an “Inclusive Democracy,” one that caters not only to human beings but also nature and the environment. Watching the journey of SBS and watching the youth of Sikkim acquire more degrees and experience fills him with pride and joy both, he said. Talking about the corporate world, he said that globally, economic disparity has been on the rise. He then suggested that SBS conduct an economic disparity survey and study the economic difference between classes and bring forth measures to minimize the margin. In this regard, Sikkim could be a model State for others to follow, he added. The CM described the State as having a distinct personality since it manages livelihood through organic farming, government funded transport department, government-funded tea estate and so on. Similarly, SBS has a distinct personality in comparison to other banks therefore it functions in a unique but transparent manner, he explained. He stressed that in spite of being a small region with a sparse population, Sikkim ranks third in the country in Per Capita Income. He explained that peace and security is the main reason behind the State’s growth and in order to maintain this political stability, people have to be responsible and not get into caste or petty politics. Turning his attention to the retired officials and staff, he asked them to contribute their intellectual experience in the functioning of the Senior Citizens Welfare Board. He stressed on the importance of security as one ages and the support and company needed by old people. Therefore, the establishment of Old Age Homes in all the four districts is absolutely necessary, he stated. He then asked the officials of SBS to look out for young recruits to be taken into the body for their fresh and efficient outlook. At the end, he reminded people to develop a sense of ownership and said, “SBS is a people’s bank so the responsibility lies in all of us for it is our money. Trust your bank, love your bank, invest in your bank.” Managing Director, SBS, HK Chettri, presented the welcome address where he welcomed everybody and expressed his happiness in celebrating fifty years of service provided by SBS. He then provided a brief background of SBS explaining how the body came into existence and said that unlike other banks, the State Bank of Sikkim Proclamation of 1968 gives it a unique status. In his address, he also said that so far, SBS has 44 branches, three 24-hr revenue collection counters and one extension counter. The aim of SBS is to open more branches so that the total number reaches 50, he added. He then informed that SBS is clear of all Income Tax liabilities and is making advance payment on yearly basis, it is fully compliant with the Income Tax provisions and adds to the national economy by paying tax on schedule. As per figures recorded on 31 Mar 2018, SBS has a total business of over Rs 3500 crore, he added. Chairperson, SBS, KB Chamling, in his address spoke about the history of SBS, the problems faced and the measures taken to turn this financial body into a successfully operating monetary institute. He thanked everyone who has contributed in the success of SBS. The CM was felicitated by SBS for his constant support and guidance over the last three decades. KL Jawalia of National Informatics Centre, Government of India was also felicitated for his contribution and guidance in the growth of SBS. A coffee table book with the fifty years journey of SBS titled, “The Bond” was released along with the inauguration of the Core Banking Solution [CBS]. The CM was also presented with a dividend cheque of Rs 18.92 crore. Winners of a school level essay competition were awarded with certificates and cash prize. The competition had Disha Bhujel [Class XI Commerce, PNGSS] in the first place with Neharika Gajmer [Class XI Commerce, Deorali Girls School] and Pratistha Choudary [Class XII Science, Tashi Namgyal Academy] in the second and third positions respectively. Likewise, School Development Fund was distributed to Paljor Namgyal Girls School, Tashi Namgyal Academy, Deorali Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Sir Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School, Enchey Senior Secondary School and Modern Senior Secondary School Earlier, girls from Paljor Namgyal Senior Secondary School and Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School presented songs. The programme was also attended by Deputy Speaker [SLA], Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, officials of various department and students.