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Odisha seeks Centre's intervention for financial inclusion

At the state level bankers' committee (SLBC) meetings, the banks have been told time and again to expedite the branch coverage in the unbanked gram panchayats

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The state government has sought the Centre's intervention to push the commercial banks for opening of branches in the unbanked gram panchayats of the state.

"The banking coverage in the state is very poor, particularly in the rural areas. The penetration is very low. For making the financial inclusion effective. we have to open more banks in unbanked areas. A decision has been taken that every gram panchayat will have a scheduled commercial bank within next five years. The unbanked panchayats have been allotted to different banks, but the banks are not putting enough efforts in this regard. We want some kind of direction may be given from the finance ministry to this effect", state development commissioner, UN Behera, urged Union revenue secretary, Shaktikanta Das at a seminar on "Post Budget Analysis-2015", organized by Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI).

At the state level bankers' committee (SLBC) meetings, the banks have been told time and again to expedite the branch coverage in the unbanked gram panchayats. As many as 4597 gram pancahyats have been allotted to various banks for opening of brick and motor branches and the state has allowed use of premises of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras free of cost for five years for this purpose and also access to government funds meant for that GP.

Expressing concern on the declining CD (credit deposit) ratio in the state, Behera said, the credit to deposit ratio has dropped from 56 per cent to 39 per cent in last five years.

Behera sought the intervention of the Union revenue secretary to improve the situation.

The drop is a reflection of low credit facilitation and utilization in the state and the CD ratio is even further low at 37 per cent, he pointed out.

The deposits in the state has surged by 20 to 25 per cent in last two years while credit is up by just six to seven per cent only, he added.

The finance ministry was also requested to look into the low credit to the MSME (micro small and medium enterprises) sector.

The Union government official was urged to bring out clarity in the sharing pattern of the centrally sponsored schemes as many of the central schemes and centrally sponsored schemes have been dropped in the budget while others will be partially funded.

"There was a huge amount of public expectation from the budget. The government has made sincere efforts to meet the expectations. By and large, the budget has been well received", said Das.

State chief secretary, GC Pati, president, UCCI, Ramesh Mahapatra and principal secretary, state industries department, Sanjeev Chopra also spoke.

First Published: Sun, March 22 2015. 20:16 IST