Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 9:
Odisha State Co-operative Bank (OSCB) plans to take mobile banking to 55 Lakh farmers and primary agricultural cooperative societies of the state to facilitate banking to those who do not have banking facilities in their vicinity.
Inaugurating the ‘Bank on Wheels’ programme in the state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today assured that the government plans to offer banking service in all 314 blocks of the state through the State Co-operative Bank.
“We don’t have banking facility in many of the Panchayats. It is a pleasure that the Odisha State Co-operative bank is offering ‘Bank on Wheels’ in tribal areas to facilitate banking to those, who otherwise could not have accessed it. This is a unique opportunity and a first in the country,” said the Chief Minister.
He further stressed on facilitating easy loans to the farmers and asked the Cooperative Department of Odisha Government to prepare a road map to ensure this. Besides, he also suggested to convert all Kishan Credit Cards to smart cards and emphasized on computerisation of agricultural cooperative societies, both within a year.
It may be noted that while the national average of the share of co-operative banks in all agricultural loans remains only 17 percent, it is a staggering 70 percent in case of Odisha. This makes it even more important to take the cooperative banking solutions to the farmers living in rural and tribal areas.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated the Core Banking Data Management Center and Core Banking services at the Odisha State Co-operative bank premises and launched the ‘Rupay Debit Card’ offered by the bank. This card will enable its customers to withdraw money from any of the 1.88 Lakh networked ATM machines in the country.