Provide 'no-frills' saving accounts, minister tells banks

Opens 32 branches of Gramin Bank in eight districts

A memorandum has been submitted to the State government, requesting steps to provide Krishi Credit Cards (KCC) to farmers, said Union Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena.

He was speaking after inaugurating 32 rural bank branches in eight districts, as part of a programme organised jointly by the Pragathi Grameena Bank and Canara Bank at the Kaba Plaza in the city on Saturday.

The Union Government provides loans up to Rs five lakh at a rate of interest of seven per cent, as per the KCC rules and based on the type of crop. The Union Government itself gives three per cent of the amount as subsidy, the minister said.

“Cooperation on the part of the State government will only convenience farmers.

Programmes in this regard should be organised all over the district, involving everyone from the Deputy Commissioner till the village accountant,” he added.

Free service

Meena said banks all over the country have been instructed to provide ‘no-frills’ saving accounts to customers. “So far, a minimum amount had to be deposited to open a savings account. Now, with internet banking and mobile banking, several facilities can be got free.”

The Union government is working to strengthen the neglected poor in rural areas using programmes like financial outreach, he added and said the opening of 32 rural bank branches in eight districts by the Pragathi Grameena Bank, sponsored by Canara Bank, is a major development in the field of financial outreach.

“The step will help more than 5.67 lakh residents in more than 330 villages, as more than 17,000 customers will benefit from each branch. An expanse of 11,694 acres of agricultural land will be supported by the Bank,” he said.

The minister called upon officers of both the Grameena Bank and Canara Bank in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts to strive to provide bank accounts to all citizens.
He assured bank employees that the Union Government was working to solve their problems.

Livelihood

Meena explained that there were many self-employment programmes related to rural development. The Union government aims to include all of them in the Rural Livelihood Mission. “There have been discussions in the Parliament in this regard.”

He opened two new branches of Canara Bank on the occasion and distributed smart credit cards with overdraft loan facilities. The minister also declared seven villages that are being provided service by the two banks completely solar-powered villages.

An ATM and electronic transfer of funds kiosk was opened. Self-help groups and joint-responsibility groups were given financial facilities and Krishi Credit Cards and beneficiaries under the solar-power lamps scheme were also given loan papers.

Help for farmers

Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa, who spoke on the water and other problems faced by farmers in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts, requested Meena to provide the farmers assistance from the Finance Department.

Archana S Bhargava, Canara Bank executive director, spoke on the work of the Bank.

Nabard regional office chief general manager S N A Jina, legislators M Narayanaswamy, Amaresh, V R Sudarshan and Naseer Ahmed, Pragathi Grameena Bank chairman M G Bhat and director Shivamurthy also spoke on the occasion.

Manoj Kumar Meena, Deputy Commissioner of Kolar, Dr N Manjula, Deputy Commissioner of Chikkaballapur, chief executive officers P Rajendra Cholan and B S Shekharappa, were present.

Ravindra Bhandari, deputy general manager of the Bangalore Rural Circle branch of Canara Bank welcomed.

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