As part of the financial inclusion drive, public sector banks will open about 300 brick-and-mortar branches in the unbanked areas of various states by December 2022.

These branches will cover all remaining unbanked villages with a population of more than 3,000, according to sources.

A maximum of 95 branches will be opened in Rajasthan, followed by 54 in Madhya Pradesh.

The banks will also open 38 branches in Gujarat, 33 in Maharashtra, 32 in Jharkhand, and 31 in Uttar Pradesh.

The progress with regard to the opening of branches in the rural areas was reviewed in the recent meeting of heads of public sector banks with the Financial Services Secretary last month.

Allocation and coverage

Banks have been asked to open branches at allocated locations by the respective State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) by December 2022, the sources said.

Bank of Baroda will open 76 branches, while State Bank of India will establish 60 branches.

Since August 28, 2014, banks opened over 46 crore bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana(PMJDY), with a deposit balance of ₹1.74 lakh crore with its expanded coverage to 67 per cent rural or semi-urban areas as well as 56 per cent of women Jan Dhan account holders.

Also read: PMJDY@8: Average deposits rise 71%