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