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Odisha goes on campaign mode to achieve financial inclusion

 

Bhubaneswar,

Last updated 06 Jul 2016 01:02 IST

  Odisha, Banking, Financial inclusion

The Chief Secretary of Odisha has directed to work out a comprehensive model for fastening banking service coverage to all Gram Panchayats (GPs) through Business Correspondent model till permanent brick and mortar branches are established in uncovered areas.

 

Odisha has initiated action on a campaign mode to achieve Financial Inclusion to ensure financial services to the weaker and low income groups of the state. For the purpose, a State Level Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati. Presiding over its first meeting held in the Secretariat conference hall on August 6. 2014, Wednesday, Pati has said “Financial inclusion is very crucial and we must try to achieve it within a definite time frame."

Taking stock of the situation in this regard, the CS has directed to work out a comprehensive model for fastening banking service coverage to all Gram Panchayats (GPs) through Business Correspondent model till permanent brick and mortar branches are established in uncovered areas. Chief Secretary has also advised to include WSHG Federations, Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies and Common Service Centers in this exercise.

A committee has been constituted with Secretaries of Panchyati Raj, Women and Child Development, Cooperation, Information Technology, senior officials from U Co bank, State Bank of India and Central Cooperative Bank to work out the model plan within a month. Pati has also advised to make an attractive package for Bank Correspondents converging various services like dealing with different products of the banks, agri-extension services, agri-business etc. so that young talents will have interest to work in it and earn a substantial amount.

Outlining the strategies for Financial Inclusion plan Additional Chief Secretary Finance U.N. Behera said that definite action plan has already been made for opening of brick and mortar branches in all the gram panchayats in phased manner within 5 years. Different banks have also been allotted GPs for setting up their branches.

   

The banks have been requested to expedite steps to set up new branches and opening savings accounts of rural households. Different departments have also been asked to provide list of the beneficiaries of various schemes for facilitating Direct Benefit Transfer.

 

“State Government is providing 400-500 sq feet built up space in Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra of uncovered GPs for opening of bank branches free of rent for five years. In IAP districts expenditure up to Rs.1,40,000 as capital cost has been allowed for the purpose. The banks have been requested to expedite steps to set up new branches and opening savings accounts of rural households. Different departments have also been asked to provide list of the beneficiaries of various schemes for facilitating Direct Benefit Transfer,” Behera added.

Panchayat Raj Department has already prepared a database of all families – District-wise, Block-wise, GP-wise and Village-wise – showing the age of the individuals. The database can be shared with banks and government departments. So far, 3666 branches of different banks have already been opened in Odisha and 1953 GPs have branches within their respective limits.

It has been targeted to open new branches in 2045 GPs by 31st March, 2015. The Chairman of U. Co. Bank, who is also the Convener of State level Bank Coordination Committee, made a presentation on objectives and approaches of financial inclusion.

Bishnu Pada Sethi, Secretary Cooperation, said that Central cooperative banks have decided to accept PACS as the bank Correspondents. PACS are being computerized for the purpose. The Chief Secretary has asked him to complete computerization of the branches by 31st December so that they can start delivering services as bank correspondents. The Chief Secretary has also asked BSNL authorities to expedite the process of broadband connectivity up to panchyat level in a time bound manner.

It is expected that Financial Inclusion, once achieved, is going to realise the goal of universal access to banking facilities, basic bank accounts with over draft facilities and financial literacy programmes.

Url: Odisha-goes-on-campaign-mode-to-achieve-financial-inclusion-22006082014.htm

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