Money & Banking

AP banks gearing up to complete rural coverage

| | Updated on: Jun 28, 2012
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With the process of allotment of villages to individual banks completed, banks are now getting into actual implementation of the programme.

Banks in Andhra Pradesh are stepping up efforts to wrap up total financial inclusion programme across the State this fiscal.

Banks have already completed coverage of all villages in the State with a population of over 2,000 under the programme. By the end of the last fiscal, the State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) had provided facilities for meeting all banking needs at 6,640 villages with a population of over 2,000.

The committee is now gearing up to open brick-and-mortar branches in all villages with population of over 5,000, as part of the nation-wide initiative unrolled by the Reserve Bank of India. The State requires 208 branches to cover all villages under this category.

“By the end of May 2012, banks would have opened branches in 118 villages and remaining will be opened by September this year,” said Mr B.A. Prabhakar, Managing Director of Andhra Bank and President of State SLBC.

Andhra Pradesh banks have completed allotment of villages to individual banks for extension of the financial inclusion coverage under Swabhiman plan. Under this programme, which is targeted at villages with a population of between 1,600 and 2,000, a total of 2,215 villages need to be covered in the State. With the allotment process completed, banks are now getting into actual implementation of the programme. The Ministry of Finance has called for specific action plans, such as provision of alternative banking channels and promotion of women self-help groups for development of districts affected by left-wing extremism. Sixteen districts have been identified in the State as affected by extremism.

“We have set a target of promoting about 14,490 women self-help groups in these districts in the current fiscal,” he said.

Banks have opened ultra small branches in 6,280 villages, where opening of brick-and-mortar branches were found unviable in the State, as part of another directive of the Ministry of Finance. Moves are now afoot to provide necessary infrastructure, such as on-line connectivity, to these branches.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 28, 2012

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