Mobile banking initiative in remote areas of Odisha marred by neglect

Malkangiri/Rayagada: Mobile banking services launched in undivided Korpaut district under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is marred by neglect. Though the Centre had sanctioned Rs 60 crore to Odisha to roll out mobile banking services for the benefit of the people of Naxal-hit areas, the scheme has hit a roadblock within a few days of its launch.

To elucidate the point- a vehicle installed with an ATM machine has been parked on the premises of Tikiri Cooperative Society in Rayagada since past eight months. Neither internet nor the vehicle is working. Similarly, investments in mobile banking services in Laxmipur of Korpaut and Sikhapali in Malkangiri have yielded zero results.

“All the machineries are rusting on bank premises. For whose benefits the scheme was rolled out?,” Rabindra Majhi, a resident of Tikiri said.

Echoing similar views, Ram Patnaik of Malkangiri said, “People are worried as to why mobile banking vans have stopped plying after few days of launch.”

Data provided by the Cooperative department revealed that the services were launched in 20 blocks of undivided Koraput district in the 2013-14 financial year. But, the services are now functional only in Dasmantpur block of Koraput and Kudumulaguma block of Malkangiri.

Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro, said “Officials have informed me that apart from Malkangiri, mobile banking vans are operational in all other areas.”