Puducherry 1st in India to achieve full banking coverage

Puducherry: Puducherry has become the first among all states and UTs to register 100 per cent banking coverage, Chief Minister N Rangasamy said here today. Stating this at a meeting of the State-Level Bankers Committee, Rangasamy said he was hopeful that with this accomplishment the inhabitants of Puducherry would be able to "effectively ameliorate their economic well being by utilising the opportunity".

He lauded the initiative taken by the Indian Bank (the lead bank in Puducherry) in association with several other banks in successfully covering all the villages in the Union Territory under banking services. Indian Bank said in a release that banking service was now available in all the villages in the Union Territory (UT).

There are 42 villages in the UT with population of above 2,000 and 25 others with a population below 2,000. Nine nationalised banks, one regional rural bank and one cooperative bank had been roped in for the exercise, it added. It added that customers could not only have bank accounts but also do transactions "at their doorsteps". All banking and other financial services including general credit card, Kisan Credit Card and micro insurance are also available.

In his address, T M Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank said that in 2005, National Pilot Project for Financial Inclusion was launched by the State Level Bankers? Committee covering the entire UT of Puducherry, which paved the way and set the tone for the Financial Inclusion process in the country.

He called upon the rural people to utilise the financial literacy and credit counselling centre operating in Puducherry and the self employment training institute to enhance their skills to undertake self employment projects.