Patna: At a time when the Centre has launched an ambitious scheme to ensure that each family gets a bank account, the expansion of banks in Bihar has moved at snail`s pace with over 50 percent panchayats still to be covered by its service.
Out of 8463 panchayats in Bihar, over 50 percent are yet to be covered with banking service, Finance Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told reporters after the 49th meeting of the State-Level Bankers` Committee (SLBC) here.
Pointing to lethargic pace of expansion of financial institutions in Bihar, he said that the state has a bank`s branch catering to twice the number of population as against the national average.
The national average for a bank branch per population stands at 12,000 but in Bihar the corresponding figure is 23,000, the finance minister said.
The banks, including commercial ones, have been tasked to proceed with setting up branches in panchayats and achieve the target in a time-bound manner, Yadav said, adding that the banks` performance will be reviewed at the next SLBC meeting to be held in the next quarter.
The banks will be made accountable for its performance in terms of expansion of branches and opening accounts of all families in its jurisdiction, the minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Principal Secretary (Finance) Rameshwar Singh said that Credit-Deposit ratio (CDR) has shown steady improvement and increased to 42 percent by last quarter.
He stressed on expansion of banking services in Bihar in order to boost CDR as there will be more demand for credit from the people.
Singh also expressed satisfaction with 20 percent growth rate in various sections in the first quarter of the current fiscal and said that barring industry, animal husbandry and education, all other sectors performed adequately to register an impressive growth.
The Principal Secretary (Finance) said that implementation of the centre`s `Jan Dhan` scheme also figured during discussion with the bankers who were asked to organise camps for opening bank accounts of all families within its jurisdiction.
"The banks have been tasked to cover all families in terms of opening of their bank accounts by next independence day," he said.