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Odisha govt directs banks to cover maximum GPs during 12th Plan

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Reported by Sandeep Pattnaik

Bhubaneswar, May 27:

Odisha Government on Monday directed the chiefs of all commercial banks [CBs] in the state to cover maximum Gram Panchayats [GPs] under the financial inclusion [FI] plan by opening more branches during 12th five-year plan period.

The state which has a total of 4281 branches operating as on 31st March 2014, registered around 11.95% growth in 2013-14 over the last year, out of which 2335 are in rural areas, 1143 are in semi urban areas and 803 are in urban areas.

JK Mohapatra, Chief Secretary, Odisha
JK Mohapatra, Chief Secretary, Odisha

“The overall thrust is on enhancement of credit deposit [CD] ratio in the state, which can be achieved through sanction and disbursal of loans under agriculture and allied sectors, considered to be a priority sector,” chief secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra said at a State Level Bankers Committee meeting held here on Monday.

Though the percentage of propriety sector loans has been around 55.72 against national average of 40, still there are a large pendency in priority sector loan applications.

The chief cecretary emphasized on the disbursement of crop loans and loans for promotion of diary projects in the State.

“The government has made budget provisions for interest subvention on short term cop loan, long term crop loan, diary projects, fishery projects and other allied activities. The banks have to reciprocate in the matter and make full utilization of the budgeted amount in these sectors,” he said.

With an aim to achieve 100 percent CD ratio of banks, Additional Chief Secretary [Finance] Sri Upendra Nath Behera suggested an in-depth exercise for removal of ground level bottlenecks coming in the way of boosting up CD ratio. Banks have been asked to report the actual progress and bottlenecks to SLBC in the matter.

“Banks coming forward to open branches in GPs without a bank will be provided space in Panchayat buildings and Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras free of cost for 5 years,” Behera said. “Banks opening their branches in unbanked GPs will be given access to Government funds meant for that GP,” he added.

“In the financial year [FY] 2013-14 there has been visible progress in Odisha with regard to opening of new branches. During this year a total number of 458 new branches have been opened which is much higher in comparison to 229 in 2012-13 and 260 in 2013-14,” the Director, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India Dr Alok Pande said during the SLBC meeting on Monday.

However, Dr Pande urged upon the banks to have parity in opening of ATMs as there is a large regional disparity in this matter. He also asked banks to give their suggestions regarding a proposal for credit guarantee scheme for those who do not have access to bank credits.

According to the available data, deposits in the banks in the State have increased from Rs.146465 crore as of March, 2013 to Rs. 169642 crore as of March, 2014. The year on incremental deposit growth is around 15.82%. The incremental growth in total credit advance by March, 2014 has been 13.65%.

Under the priority sector, the agricultural loans advanced by banks in the State have increased from Rs.24364 crore as of March, 2013 to Rs.27366 crore as of March, 2014. The share of agricultural credit in total advance is around 29% against the national average of 18%.

Similarly, the loans to MSMEs have increased from Rs.17209cr by 2013 March to Rs20425 crore by March, 2014 registering an incremental growth of 18.69%. The Chairman SLBC S. Chandra Sekhar  urged all the banks to strive hard for achieving government targets for 2014-15 in each sector from the beginning of the current financial year.

A Banking Atlas of Odisha prepared by Odisha Space Application Center (OSAC) was presented in the meeting. This atlas has been prepared for achieving regional parity in banking facilities and bringing all the villages of Odisha under banking service.