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Plan to cover unbanked GPs in the Odisha by June

The State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), by June, will finalise a plan for opening of branches by the commercial banks to cover 4597 unbanked gram panchayats (GPs) before the 12th five year plan (2012-17).

“SLBC jointly with Reserve Bank of India and state finance department will finalise the plan for allotment of GPs to the banks for opening of branches in the GPs”, said an official.

Individual banks will be asked to submit an action plan for opening of branches in a time bound period so that all the unbanked GPs will have brick and mortar branches in next three years, added the official.

It may noted that Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra, in the SLBC meeting held recently, has asked the controlling heads of the commercial banks to cover all the 4597 unbanked GPs by end this plan period.

For getting all the GPs  banked, the state government has assured that banks coming forward to open branches in unbanked GPs will be provided space in panchayat buildings and Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras free of cost for five years.

“The commercial banks opening their branches in unbanked GPs will be given access to government funds meant for that GP ”, UN Behera, additional chief secretary (finance) had said in the SLBC meeting.

As on March 31, a total number of 4281 branches of various commercial banks are operating in 30 districts of the state, out of which 2335 are in rural area, 1143 are in semi urban area and 803 are in urban area. In the last fiscal, 458 new branches were opened by the banks in the state.

Odisha Space Applications Centre (ORSAC), the apex body of the state for space technology applications,  has prepared a Banking Atlas of Odisha aimed at achieving regional parity in banking facilities and bringing all the villages of the state under banking service. The data base contains information on the availability of banking and ATM facilities in the state, unbanked GPs and villages and the data relating to the distance of banks from each village.

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