Odisha News Insight

Govt takes innovative steps to enhance Banking Outreach in Remote Areas

aThe Odisha Government has initiated an innovative way to cater to the long felt need of enhancing bank outreach to unbanked Gram Panchayats of the State for providing quick banking solutions to the people and for ensuring timely delivery of Governmental benefits. The State level financial inclusion committee meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi in secretariat conference hall today has decided to involve Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) and its organs as the Banking Correspondents.

The Committee considered non-availability of the banks in many GPs as a barrier on the way of financial inclusion. Development Commissioner Sri R. Balakrishnan participating in the discussion suggested involving peoples’ bodies as banking intermediaries for carrying banking services to the people. Secretary Panchayati Raj Sri Deo Rajnan Kumar Singh suggested involving OLM and SHGs in this matter.

Taking in to consideration the presence of OLM in all the GPs, Chief Secretary Sri Padhi advised that good and credible SHGs as organs of OLM can be taken up as Banking Correspondents ( BCs) in unbanked GPs and remote A committee was constituted for the purpose under the Chairmanship of Secretary Panchayati Raj with RBI, Director Institutional Finance, CGM SBI, NABARD and Convener SLBC. The committee would examine various aspects of involving SHGs as BCs and workout a suitable model. Chief Secretary directed the committee to come up with their model within a month.

Available data show, presently 4859 functional BCs are operating in the State. There are near about 5 lakh SHGs within the fold of OLM against which around 3 lakh SHGs have proven tracks of income generating activities and livelihood operations. Their involvement as BCs would provide a big push to bridge the spatial banking gaps in remote areas.

It was decided in the meeting to form one DBT Cell and one DBT Advisory Board at the State level for carrying forward the activities for implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in the State. Accordingly, the Cell was formed under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary IT. The Advisory Board was formed under the Chairmanship of Development Commissioner.

Chief Secretary further advised the Bank authorities present in the meeting to enhance their tie up with more number of corporate employers like L&T, TATA, Nerolac etc for finding more placements for the youths trained in RSETIs. Sri Padhi has also advised them to involve Branch managers of the respective areas in selection of candidates for skill training so that the banks do not find it difficult to finance them for self ventures after completion of the training.

Additional Secretary Finance and Director Institutional Finance Sri Tapan Kumar Pradhan , CGM SBI, NABARD , Special Secretary IT Sri Rudra Narayan Pallai along with other senior officers from respective departments participated in the deliberations.

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