Finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said banks cannot have a policy different from the government, which wants opening of more branches nationwide for serving those needing money for farming, business and education.
"There cannot be different policies for the government...Banks...and bank managers...all should follow the policy of the government," he said after declaring open the 3,000th branch of Indian Overseas Bank at nearby Vaniyangudi.
He pointed out that banks did not have many branches when they were nationalised in the 1970s and that the pace of opening branches was quite rapid now.
"We have told all banks to open branches and they will do so," he said.
Chidambaram said every individual with earning capacity has the right to avail of banking services. Banks will ensure that all those eligible to receive loans get them, he said.
The minister said the reason banks were being asked to start branches in rural areas was because they were needed for people to start their own ventures or get into education or business.