Kerala becomes first total banking state

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has been declared as the first `total banking state` in India successfully completing the campaign for total finanical inclusion plan (FIP) ensuring banking facility to all families.

The declaration was made as every household in all the 14 districts in the state having at least one bank account and the facility for need-based credit.

The "State Level Bankers` Committee" ,a joint forum of major banks operating in the state, with the support of state government had been working for the last four years to bring banking services to all quarters of the state.

Addressing a meeting of bankers here yesterday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the achievement was yet another feather in the cap of state`s financial scenario.

"The banks have a lot more things to do for the state and its people. They should shed their conservative approach and contribute more to the expedite development process in the state," he said.

The lending to farming sector should be enhanced from the present 22 per cent of the total lending to the priority sector. The support of banks to education, infrastructure, tourism abd healthcare should also be accelerated, he said.

Chandy also distributed certificates to the banks which had participated in the `total banking state` project drive.

Palakkad district in the state had already become the first district in the country to achive total financial inclusion four years ago, bank sources said.