To strengthen the banking services in rural areas under the comprehensive financial inclusion plan, there is proposal to open about 800 new bank branches by 2016 in rural and remote areas of the state.
Chief secretary Sudripta Roy said on Monday while speaking at the 128th state-level bankers committee meeting convened by United Commercial Bank (UCO Bank) in Shimla.
“Record numbers of 31 new branches were opened during the first quarter of 2013, of which 25 were located in rural areas,” said Roy, adding that state was having a strong network of 1,666 bank branches and 861 automated teller machines (ATM). Roy said that state suffered heavy losses especially in tribal district of Kinnaur and in other parts due to heavy rains this monsoon season.
“The state government had sought financial assistance of Rs. 1,000 crore from the Centre to carry out relief measures, rehabilitation and re-building infrastructure,” said Roy. He said that the state government was assessing the extent of loss so as to enable the banks to provide relief to the affected farmers under the Reserve Bank of India's Annawadi scheme.
Reviewing the direct benefit transfer (DBT) in six districts, Roy said that more new schemes would be included under the programme. He also urged to initiate joint action for successful implementation of Aadhar.
State has attained 93% Aadhar coverage and government intends to achieve 100% coverage by September 2013, he said. Aadhar platform would be utilised for delivery of additional services like public distribution system (PDS), land records, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), pension etc, he said.
“State would set an online platform for the departments to perform DBT for schemes at different locations in the field,” Roy said. He said, under the implementation of Annual Credit Plan 2012-13, the banks had provided fresh loan amounting to Rs. 8,824 crore during last fiscal and proposed to lend Rs. 11,548 crore in the current financial year.