Gujarat's 3,500 villages to get banking facilities

Vadodara: About 3,500 villages in Gujarat, each with more than 2,000 population, will get banking facilities thanks to initiative taken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Gujarat State Bankers Committee (SLBC) sources said today.

RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty said this at a public contact programme held by RBI at Padra town in Vadodara district on last March 20.

The programme was attended by top ranking senior officials from State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and other banks and large number of people from the villages surrounding the area.

The people attending the programme had pleaded with Chakrabarty to look into their demand for banking facilities for them in their villages.

Talking after the programme, Chakrabarty said, "the primary aim of Reserve Bank for holding such public contact programme was to reach unreachable masses to brief them about banking facilities available to them for qualitative improvement of lives of common persons."

He pointed out that there are only 30,000 villages out of a total of 6,00,000 villages in the country with banking facilities and it is RBI's endeavour to cover all these villages through technology in providing of banking facilities to them.

The RBI is asking banks to ensure that villages with 2,000 people and more get banking facilities, which has become possible due to the banking technology. Despite nationalisation of banks by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi 40 years ago and opening of regional rural banks (RRBs) in 1975, the common man finds it difficult to get banking facilities, Chakrabarty had pointed out.

Hence to provide banking facilities to common man, the public contact programmes have been undertaken by RBI, he stated.

Meanwhile, officials of the Gujarat State Bankers Committee (SLBC) headed by Mukesh Kumar Jain General Manager, Dena Bank told PTI that 3,500 villages of the state with a population of more than 2,000 are expected to be covered under the banking facilities.

The banking facilities will help people to deposit their savings in banks and get loans for various purposes. The SBI, Bank of Baroda and Dena bank have taken up the task of providing banking facilities to these 3,500 villages in the state.

It is good news for people of these villages who are deprived of banking facilities and they expect to get it during year-long golden jubilee year celebrations of the Foundation of Gujarat state beginning from May 1, 2010 to May 1st 2011.