Bhubaneswar, December 21 (LocalWire): Taking a big step towards financial inclusion, the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) on Saturday decided to set up branches in 571 Gram Panchayats (GPs) across Odisha.
If everything goes the right way, Odisha will soon have brick and mortar banking services in these unbanked GPs, sources said.
The initiative will help Odisha increase its banking coverage in accordance with Reserve Bank of India’s financial inclusion policy.
The SLBC meeting also decided that the remaining GPs without access to banking facilities will be taken up after the initial 571 branches are set up.
The state government had requested the private and public sector banks to deploy business correspondents (BCs) in unbanked areas and it is expected that more areas will come under banking coverage through the banking outlet model, sources said.
According to reports, people in over 4,597 Gram Panchayats in the state presently do not have any access to banks. Similarly, 2,817 urban and semi-urban areas are bereft of banking facilities.
The issue of the absence of banking services in large areas of the state was recently raised in the Rajya Sabha by BJD lawmakers.