Pondy becomes first in India with 100 pc banking coverage

Making the announcement at a meeting of the State Level Bankers Committee, Rangasamy said he was hopeful that with this accomplishment the inhabitants of Puducherry would be able to "effectively ameliorate their economic wellbeing by utilising the opportunity".

He lauded the initiative taken by Indian Bank (the lead bank in Puducherry) in association with several other banks in successfully covering all the villages in the Union Territory under banking services.

Indian Bank said in a release that banking service was now available in all the villages in the UT with population above 2,000 as well as below 2,000. There are 42 villages in the UT with population above 2,000 and 25 others with a population below 2,000, the release said.

Nine nationalized banks, one regional rural bank and one cooperative bank had been roped in for the exercise, it added.

It added that customers could not only have bank accounts but also do transactions "at their doorsteps". All banking and other financial services including general credit card, Kisan Credit Card and micro insurance are also available, it said.

In his address, T M Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank said that in the year 2005, National Pilot Project for Financial Inclusion was launched by the State Level Bankers’ Committee covering the entire UT of Puducherry, which paved the way and set the tone for the Financial Inclusion process in the country.

He called upon the rural people to utilise the financial literacy and credit counseling centre operating in Puducherry and the self employment training institute to enhance their skills to undertake self employment projects.

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