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Targets continue to be ad hoc Merger mania haunts banks The collaboration suite of cyber criminals Well-lived... Big bank merger, bigger expectations The paradox: clamour for the Goliath and David Smart banking in smart cities Cut in repo rate – lower than expected Cautious and considerate How okay are new banks? New capitals of Migrant banks Hesitancy in announcing year-end results Growing volume of stressed assets… Bottomlines shrink, bad loans rise... Stage set for Indian ‘avatar’ of foreign banks How ‘secure’ are the secured loans? Ferrying digital banking to Lakshadweep Cradle of banks to a smart city... Anytime banking to anywhere banking Small is ‘more’ beautiful Aadhaar, niraadhaar and banking Two banks: their jubilees and performances Small finance payment banks... Drop in SLR- sparing lendable resources Fund healthcare clinics in villages... All that glitters is not gold... Who is the real beneficiary? Holy or unholy? One down in private sector Governance in Reverse Gear? Financial inclusion vs unclaimed deposits Growing gainfully Lacklustre credit expansion Perhaps small is more beautiful than big! Monetary policy continues to adopt dis-inflationary path Indian customers are tech savvy Banking on Risk Insatiable appetite for credit Bank deposits account for 46.3 per cent of household savings It’s a war on black money, support it. A development bank for BRICS From lazy banking to easy banking Small finance banks offer high interest rates Banking overhauling or reorganisation? Reaching the Unreached… Good, bad and ugly Another route for achieving financial inclusion Drastic decline in asset quality Ernakulam excels... Reaching out: is it slowing down? Banking in Telangana LVB- A supermarket of financial services Why priority status? Capital base of regional rural banks raised Managing NPAs... A new development bank rising in the east… Just 660 days! Target over-ambitious... Payment banks have arrived United India Insurance - Rs 110 crore losses have been claimed till now due to floods in Tamil Nadu A bank for women, by women Thirty more cities seek to become SMART Mega merger is on What is the priority – mergers or NPA reduction? Emerging crisis New bank licences, at last... Why any time money? Rationalised Too big to fail and too small to sail Grows Bigger Nothing much can happen…. Needed a Banking Atlas Greet Lakshmi the banking robot
 
Another route for achieving financial inclusion

With all the efforts made by the banking sector to expand rural branches, their number, including those of gramin banks, is not more than 44,624 as on June 2014. Under the Branchless Banking Model, banking sector has appointed 195,380 business correspondents, who are supposed to cover 221,341 villages as on March 2013. A good beginning, no doubt, but India has over six lakh villages.

 There are 2.33 lakh gram panchayats. 25 per cent of these panchayats do not have their own buildings. This grass-root level agency needs to be reinforced to morph into Grama Vikas Kendras, as a part of the financial inclusion programme. Gram panchayats must be allowed to obtain loans from commercial banks for constructing their office building while should house the panchayat office, the rural bank branch, a post office, and a primary health centre. It should be located in a central village connected to the market place, preferably on the highway. Since all bank branches now are on Core Banking Solutions (CBS), space required for the branch is not very large. This building, providing essential services under one roof, can become Grama Vikas Kendra, the centre of developmental process. A cash-dispensing machine can be installed to be functional from dawn to dusk. Rent collected on a commercial basis from the ‘tenants’ occupying the premises should be sufficient to repay the loan. National Housing Bank can be roped in to extend refinance to the banks for lending to gram panchayat for this purpose.

Non-availability of premises in rural areas is one of the major constraints faced by banks in opening rural branches.. Nearness to the base branches would enable the business correspondents to devote more time to their customers. With imaginative planning Grama Vikas Kendras could be made as the epi-centres of growth impulses in rural India. Public sector banks have to take a pro-active role, especially in their lead districts for this purpose. Reaching out to rural population would be much effective through this centre.

 

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