BHUBANESWAR: The Government on Saturday asked commercial banks operating in the State to extend their reach to unbanked gram panchayats (GPs) and enhance credit flow to agriculture and allied sectors.
Addressing the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting here, Finance Minister Pradeep Kumar Amat said linkages from deposit to credit and from credit to economic activity are crucial for financial inclusion.
Expressing concern over the poor credit deposit (CD) ratio in the State, Amat said the CD ratio of commercial banks in Odisha was around 42 per cent against the all India ratio of 73 per cent in 2014-15. He advised the banks to bridge this gap and step up their medium term credit advance.
As the banks have achieved around 47 per cent of the NABARD credit potential by the end of third quarter of this fiscal, Amat asked the bankers to achieve the credit potential target fixed by NABARD to the tune of `66,555 crore in 2017-18.
Chief Secretary AP Padhi said new branches were opened in 125 GPs in 2014-15, 69 GPs in 2015-16 and 20 GPs in 2015-16, which are much below the target.
Padhi expressed his displeasure over the fact that only new branches have been opened in two out of 78 villages identified. Each of these villages have more than 5000 population.
He suggested that Internet providers and mobile operators should be invited to the SLBC meeting for expansion of data connectivity services to unnerved areas.
Principal Secretary, Finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey said expansion of banking services in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas is a priority agenda of both the Central and State Governments. As Maoist activities have been reduced in many places of the State during the last couple of years, banks should take steps to operate in such areas.
He advised the bankers to take field level functionaries of Odisha Livelihood Mission as corporate banking correspondents. He also emphasised on Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts. As of now, around 88 per cent of people have got their Aadhar numbers.