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