Bhubaneswar: Taking note that the people in rural areas are facing difficulties in getting new notes in exchange of the old notes, the Odisha government has decided to provide banking services in panchayat offices very soon.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting presided over by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the State Secretariat here this evening which was attended by senior bureaucrats and bank officials.
The chief secretary asked the bank officials to appoint the members of woman self help groups (SHGS) and Bank Mitras of Odisha Livelihood Mission as Bank Correspondent (BC) to ensure banking services in unbanked panchayats.
It was decided that any efficient panchayat or block level employee would be appointed as BC.
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Present at the meeting, Principal Secretary, Finance, Tuhinkant Pande asked the concerned banks to allow the BCs appointed by them for offline deposit and withdrawal of money. As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, the BCs are allowed to do this offline job for one day.
The chief secretary asked the banks to allow their BCs for larger transaction of money and give details of the BCs appointed at the panchayat level. It was decided that the BCs will report about their presence to the concerned Panchayat Sarpanches who will provide space to them in the panchayat office to discharge their duty.
Apart from this, the State Bank of India (SBI) was asked to provide adequate number of new notes to the post offices to enable the people to exchange their old notes. Besides, those having no postal account will be allowed to instantly open account and deposit their money.
It was revealed that there are a total of 6056 ATM counters in Odisha of which about 75 percent ATMs have been made operational.
Besides, of the 8251 BCs appointed by various banks, 84 percent of BCs are now on duty. Till date, about Rs 6000 crore of old notes have been exchanged with new notes while people have been allowed to deposit old notes in their account and withdraw new notes.
Panchayati Raj secretary Deo Ranjan Singh, RBI General Manager, Bhubaneswar, Prasanna Kumar Das and Additional Secretary, Finance, Tapan Kumar Pradhan were also present at the meeting.