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Finance ministry asks banks to ensure one account per family

Having a bank account for every family will help the government and its agencies to use it for electronic fund transfer of wages, salaries or payments to suppliers.

 

Mumbai: In an ambitious move, the Finance Ministry has instructed all the lenders to ensure that at least one person per family across the country has a bank account in the next six months, reports PTI.

As per the 2011 census, only three in five families have a bank account in the country, or 40% of the families are not in the banking system, a senior Finance Ministry official said.

“During the meeting between the Finance Minister and heads of public sector banks on 12 June 2012 it was decided to ensure that there is a bank account in every family,” Additional Secretary in the department of financial services, Sunil Soni said over the weekend.

He said having a bank account for every family will help the government and its agencies to use it for electronic fund transfer of wages, salaries or payments to suppliers.

“All the payments from the government will be done electronically directly into the account to reduce leakage,” he said.

He said the decision, coupled with a recent move to make all electronic fund transfers under Rs1 lakh through the NEFT, will make it possible for cheap movement of funds.

Banks can easily achieve the target, given the success they have achieved in financial inclusion programme, wherein over 73,000 villages having a population of above 2,000 were covered with a bank presence within two years, Soni said.

Internet-based technology and right approach will make it possible for banks to achieve the target, he said.

The bureaucrat also suggested that every such account holder will have to be compulsory given an ATM (automated teller machine) card which will give him an ease of access.

Plans are also on to link such accounts with instruments like the Kisan Credit Card which will integrate an individual's financial dealings, he said.

Life insurance giant LIC's Chairman D K Malhotra also noted that the corporation is targeting to provide insurance to every "insurable" individual in the country by 2020.

The LIC has 350 million policyholders currently, he said.

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Credit societies to act as BCs for farm credit in Maharashtra

Nationalised banks and regional rural banks conceded to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's demand for appointing operational credit societies and other institutions as bank business correspondents

 

Mumbai: To facilitate flow of pre-monsoon credit to farmers in seven districts in Maharashtra where district co-operatives are not operational, commercial banks conceded the state's demand for appointing credit societies as business correspondents, reports PTI.

Six district central co-operative (DCC) banks affiliated to the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank were prohibited by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from doing business as their net worth went negative earlier this year.

Following the restrictions, farmers of these districts are finding it hard to access credit ahead of sowing for kharif season and there were apprehensions that they would go to private moneylenders.

The prohibited banks include those in Dhule, Nandurbar, Nagpur, Wardha, Osmanabad and Buldhana districts which used to serve seven districts.

To overcome the difficulties, nationalised banks and regional rural banks (which are sponsored by nationalised banks) conceded to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's demand for appointing operational credit societies and other institutions as business correspondents, a press note released here said.

The decision was taken at the state-level banking committee meeting here today which was attended by representatives from the RBI, top officials of nationalised banks and the chief minister himself.

A total of Rs750 crore has been disbursed to four lakh farmers in the affected districts while Rs500 crore more is yet to be disbursed, the press note said.

At the meeting, Mr Chavan asked the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank to take lead in facilitating flow of these funds by helping the nationalised banks and RRBs, the statement said.

Maharashtra has targeted a disbursal of Rs24,629 crore towards crop loans this fiscal, the statement said, adding the share of commercial banks has grown up to 55%.

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