'Only 40,000 villages have bank branches'

Stressing the need for penetration of banks across the country, RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty on Tuesday said only 40,000 out of 600,000 villages have bank branches.

"Banks are important financial intermediaries, but our problem is that banks access is not there, today out of 600,000 villages only 40,000 villages have bank branch;.... banks penetration is very important," he said while inaugurating a financial inclusion outreach programme of Vijaya Bank at Adichunchanagiri near Mandya.

Vijaya Bank has so far covered 3,319 villages in the country with its financial inclusion outreach programme through 330 rural brick and mortar branches and 669 business correspondent models/ Ultra Small Branches.

The bank is covering 1369 financial inclusion/ electronic benefit transfer villages through 245 business correspondent agents in Mandya district. As part of the outreach programme, the bank on Tuesday rolled out Aam Admi Bima Yojana, a social security micro-insurance scheme for the weaker sections under a tie-up with LIC covering 2,437 beneficiaries.

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