21 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: As many as 4,921 Gram Panchayats (GPs) do not have bank branches in Odisha.
"Approximately 4,921 GPs do not have brick and mortar branch," revealed Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari while briefing the media after attending the 157th meeting of the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) held here today.
Pujari said that the State government has requested the bankers to make financial inclusion "end to end".
"We have requested the bankers and the Union government to make available brick and mortar branches in maximum places. For making payment to beneficiaries under various social security schemes through DBT (direct benefit transfer) financial inclusion is most important," the Minister informed.
Similar views were expressed by Suresh Chandra Mohapatra who had also attended the meeting.
"More than half of gram panchayats in Odisha do not have bank branches. Previously, many areas were remote and inaccessible. In the last few years, the State government has spent a good amount of money and very good roads have been constructed. So we have requested the bankers at the SLBC for opening brick and mortar branches in all areas," said Mohapatra speaking to newsmen after the meeting.
The Development Commissioner said that SBI has been requested to open at least two branches in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district at the earliest since 50% of it is under the control of security forces.
Mohapatra pointed out that people are facing a lot of difficulties to draw their wages under NREGS in the absence of bank branches.
"Beneficiaries are facing great difficulty in the absence of bank branches, they have to travel 50-60 km to a bank branch to collect their wages under NREGS, etc," he said