Andhra Bank, one of the leading public sector banks in the country has submitted a roadmap to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide banking services to 1144 unbanked villages in the country with a population of over 2000 by March 2012.
The Hyderabad-based bank has also fixed an interim target to cover around 500 villages by the end of the current financial year under the Financial Inclusion Plan (FIP).
The RBI has asked the public sector banks to extend their banking services to the unbanked villages having a population of over 2000 by March 2012.
Andhra Bank would offer banking services trough the Business Correspondents (BCs) model by leveraging technology. The bank has already covered 195 villages under FIP, sources said.
In order to strengthen the FIP, the bank has opened 8.60 lakh “No Frill Accounts” under branch banking. With its pan-India presence, the bank has 2615 delivery channels consisting of 1587 branches, 36 extension counters, 38 satellite offices and 954 ATMs.
Out of the total target of 1144 villages to be covered under the FIP, 101 villages are in the bank’s Berhampur zone, that covers seven districts in the south Orissa and Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. The districts in Orissa to be covered under FIP are Ganjam, Gajapati, Nabaranagapur, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Koraput and Rayagada.
Before the end of the current financial year, we will cover at least 30 villages under the FIP, said Regidi Appadu, Deputy General Manager (DGM) of the bank’s Berhampur zone. All the 30 villages are located in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
Under the FIP, the bank has already undertaken the Andhra Bank Gramina Kranti Patakam, a Smart Card based project for payment of the wages for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the social service schemes like the old-age pensions at the panchayat level.
“Out of 7.45 lakh beneficiaries in Srikakuam district in Andhra Pradesh, the bank has already issued the smart cards to 3.40 lakh people”, Appadu said. The same scheme would be launched in Orissa after signing memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government.
“The scheme is likely to the implemented in Orissa after March this year”, he added.