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800 New Bank Branches to be opened in rural areas of the State : Chief Secretary

15 July Shimla  : Chief Secretary Shri Sudripta Roy said that a comprehensive Financial Inclusion Plan  of the State had proposed to open about 800 new bank branches in the State by 2016 in rural belts and remote corners of the State. He said that a record number of 31 new branches were opened during the last quarter till March, 2013 out of which 25 were located in rural areas. He said that  the State was having a strong network of 1666 bank branches and 861 ATMs. He was speaking during the 128th State level Bankers Committee Meeting convened by UCO Bank here today.

Shri Roy said that due to excessive rains during the last month State suffered heavy losses especially in tribal district of Kinnaur and  as well as in other parts of the State. He said that the State Government had sought financial assistance of Rs. 1000 crore from GoI for providing  relief, rehabilitation and speeding re-building of infrastructure. Besides, the State Government was assessing the extent of loss so as to enable the banks to provide relief to the affected farmers under Annawari scheme under the aegis of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.

Chief Secretary reviewed the implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in six districts of the  State and disclosed that more new schemes would be included under the programme. He urged to initiate joint action for successful implementation of AADHAR. He said that the State had attained 93 percent AADHAR coverage and Government intends to achieve nearly hundred percent AADHAR generation by September, 2013. He said that AADHAR platform would be utilized for delivery of additional services like PDS, land records, MNREGA, pension etc. besides setting up of a online platform for the departments to perform DBT for their schemes on their own at different locations in the field.

Shri Roy said that under the implementation of Annual Credit Plan, 2012-13, the banks had provided fresh loan amounting to Rs. 8824 crore during last fiscal ended on March, 2013 and proposed to lend Rs. 11,548 crore in the current financial year 2013-14 by increasing financial outlay to about 24 percent over the previous Annual Credit Plan. He said that Rural Development Department had finalized the selection of five blocks namely Nurpur, Sadar Mandi, Kandaghat, Basantpur and Haroli for implementation of National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) in the State on pilot basis.

Shri Manish Garg, Finance Secretary emphasised the bankers to improve the CD ratio and suggested to formulate local plan for credit dispension.

Dr. S.K. Nandi, General Manager, UCO and convenor SLBC while presiding over the meeting assured the State Government about affirm commitment from all banks for successful implementation of various initiatives of the Central Government under financial inclusion.

Shri Ateesh Singh, Director, Department of Financial Services, Government of India, Shri I.S. Negi, General Manager, RBI, Smt. Padma Raghunathan, Chief General Manager, NABARD, senior officers of Government of India and  the State Government were also present on the occasion among others.

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