The Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Bank has got the status of a commercial bank, a senior official said Thursday.
"Now we are as good as any other commercial bank," Harsh Mahajan, bank chairman, told reporters here.
He said this bank is the third bank in the country that has been included in the second schedule of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Mahajan said the bank, which has crossed a turnover of Rs.10,000 crore during this fiscal, could now borrow directly from the RBI.
The bank has plans to open new branches at 13 places and install 50 ATMs by this fiscal, he said.
Currently, the bank has 207 branches with over 16 lakh account holders, a majority of them living in the rural and remote areas.
Managing director Amitabh Awasthi said the bank, which has the lowest gross non-performing assets at 8.8 percent, has started financing mini hydropower projects to promote power production.
"So far, we have allocated loans worth Rs.125 crore to power projects in the state," he said.
Awasthi said the bank has earmarked Rs.250 crore for disbursing loans to promote hydropower projects.