Odisha govt asks banks to open more branches in villages

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today asked commercial banks to extend their outreach to the unbanked gram panchayats and enhance credit flow to agriculture and allied sectors.

Finance Minister PK Amat said this while addressing the 146th State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting here.

linkages from deposit to credit and from credit to economic activity is very crucial for financial inclusion,” Amat said.

He expressed the concern that as per RBI data the credit deposit (CD) ratio of the commercial banks in Odisha was around 42 per cent against the all India ratio of 73 per cent at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal.

He said the banks were needed to bridge this gap and step up their medium term credit advance as by the end of the third quarter of the current financial year the banks had achieved around 47 per cent of the NABARD credit potential.

He asked the banks to rise to the occasion and achieve the credit potential target fixed by NABARD to the tune of Rs 66,555 crore during the year 2017-18.

Chief Secretary A P Padhi said in the 2014-15 fiscal new branches were opened in 125 GPs, In 2015-16, in 69 GPS and in 2015-16, in 20 GPs.

Padhi suggested that the internet providers and mobile companies should be invited to the SLBC for expansion of data connectivity services.

Finance Secretary P K Pandey said that expansion of banking services in LWE (left wing extremism) areas was a priority agenda of both the central and state governments.

As Maoist acivities have been reduced in many places of the state during the past couple of years, Pandey said the banks might operate in many such areas.