Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy inaugurated the 125th State level Bankers Committee meeting here today. While speaking in the meeting Sudripta Roy asked bankers to launch an intensive campaign for coverage of hundred percent households for having a bank account in rural areas as well as urban areas in the State to achieve the real objective of Financial Inclusion and to give a sound platform for adoption of many schemes of Government of India and State Government for direct transfer of benefits to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
Chief Secretary said that banks have disbursed fresh credit to the tune of Rs. 2213 crore during first quarter of the current financial under various schemes in the State benefiting about 1.31 lakh beneficiaries. He said that business of banks grew by 19.83 percent during this period and surpassed five national parameters out of six priority areas stipulated by Reserve Bank of India. He said that banks had targeted to disburse fresh loan of Rs. 9348 crores during the current year.
He said that out of total 14.77 lakh households as per 2011 census 13.16 lakh houses were availing banking services in Himachal Pradesh against the national average of 58.7 percent. He urged banks for preparing roadmap for providing banking services in every village with population below 2000 in accordance with the new guidelines given by RBI.
Chief Secretary said that banking network was rapidly growing in the State as 70 new branches of various banks were opened and added that at present 1570 branches were catering to the needs of the people and 686 ATMs were installed.
He further said that banks would soon install ATMs with all branches dealing with State Treasury business under new guidelines issued by Ministry of Finance and added that the Ministry had also approved the proposal to establish Clearing House Facility at 84 places where three or more bank branches were operating without clearing house facility. He said that this would give fillip to faster transfer of funds in banks.
Roy said that. Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur and Mandi districts had been identified by Government of India as Priority Districts for implementation of Direct Transfer of Subsidy for Kerosene (DTSK) where banks have to ensure a bank account of Head of Family as per the list of eligible beneficiaries to be provided by State Food and Supplies Department. The matter was under consideration to start DTSK scheme in district Una on a pilot basis, he said. He also urged the Department to expedite the matter.
He said that banks had started implementation of ICT based Business Correspondents (BC) Model for distribution of Social Security Pension in district Bilaspur on pilot basis where 151 Gram Panchayats were distributed amongst 11 banks. He said that the UCO bank was making efforts to start with Aadhaar enabled payment system in 28 Gram Panchayats under ‘One District-Many Banks-One leader bank model’ guidelines issued by RBI. He said that seeding of Aadhaar numbers in the bank accounts had started in Bilaspur, Una and Hamirpur districts where UIDAI has enrolled more than 80 percent population.
B. Venkat Ramana, General Manager, UCO Bank said that in Himachal Pradesh, wider extent of financial inclusion was visible with per branch population of 4367 as against National Average of above 18000 and having high proportion of 89 percent of households availing banking services. He said that still there was need of greater participation by the financial sector to increase banking penetration through various modes like brick and mortar branches, ATMs, Mobile Banking, ICT based Business correspondents (BCs)/Ultra Small Branches etc. to enhance outreach of banking services to the excluded section and increase usages of basic banking services through technology enabled services, innovative products and services.
He also detailed out the achievements of the Banks during the last quarter. Subhashish Panda, Advisor, Planning also gave valuable inputs in the meeting. Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, Heads of Departments, R Gurumurthy, General Manager, RBI, Naresh Gupta, Chief General Manager, NABARD and representatives of various banks were present in the meeting.