Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 15:

In a bid to ease the demonetization effect and the hassles of money transactions post scrapping of higher denomination notes, Odisha government today decided to use panchayat offices across the state to provide banking services to people in unbanked regions.

naveen patnaik

This comes a day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to urgently provide mobile banking services and set up temporary counters in unbanked gram panchayats in the state

“The state government has decided to provide banking services at Gram Panchayat offices in unbanked villages. Business Correspondents will be working out of these panchayat offices where people can exchange or deposit scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes,” a release from the Chief Minister’s Office said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi held a high level meeting with senior officials of state government, Regional Office of Reserve Bank of India and several banks at the state secretariat here.

Padhi asked the officials to initiate measures so that people aren’t inconvenienced.

About 4400 of 6238 gram panchayats in Odisha do not have bank branches which constitute 70 percent of it. Besides, 1.65 crore people constituting 47 percent of the rural population do not have proper access to banking facilities, Patnaik had written in his letter to Jaitley.

It may be mentioned here that the state government today disbursed the allowances to beneficiaries under several social security schemes at panchayat offices.