Banks asked to engage more BCs in rural areas

Published: 06th December 2016 10:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th December 2016 10:20 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

ODISHA: As a sizeable population in rural areas are facing acute cash crunch due to demonetisation of big currency notes the state government today requested commercial banks to expedite the process of
financial inclusion by deploying requisite number of banking correspondents.

The state government has given a list of 1200 Bank Mitras (banking correspondents) and 2.5 lakh self helf groups (SHGs) to the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) for selection and appointment as banking correspondents in rural areas.

The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A P Padhi here today.

It was decided in the meeting that initially 1000 banking correspondents (BCs) will be recruited for 1000 gram panchayats in 107 blocks, Principal Secretary Finance T K Pandey told reporters after the meeting.

Pandey said that 6000 more BCs will be appointed in as many panchayats  in the next six months so that banking services could be provided to the people at their doorsteps.

The Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) will act as corporate BC and  supports banks in implementation of SHG members as BCs. Meanwhile, SBI, UCO Bank and Regional Rural Banks have decided in-principle to engage OLM Bank Mitras in rural areas, he added.

As many as 4400 out of 6500 gram panchayats (GPs) of the states are still outside the ambit of banking service. Banks have covered 40,605 villages out of which 584 are covered through brick and mortar
branches while the rest by branchless modes mainly through BC mode.

The Chief Secretary requested commercial banks operating in the state to take the facility offered by Nabard for installation V-SAT. The national bank has sanctioned Rs 20.55 crore to Canara Bank,
UCO Bank, SBI, United Bank of India, PNB and Syndicate Bank for installation of 516 solar powered V-SAT at fixed kiosks or common service points (CSPs) in the areas having connectivity issues in the State.

The banks are asked to take necessary steps for setting based V-SAT in difficulty areas on missionary mode and convey the developments regarding the matter to Nabard and SLBC on monthly basis.

On the shortage of new Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, the Finance secretary said the state government is mulling over digital payment mode to overcome the problem.

To raise awareness on digital payment among the people, a training programme will be held at the district level under the guidance of the district collector. The aim of the training programme is to acquaint people with cashless transaction, he added.

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