RBI wants nationalized banks to serve villages, says UBI chairman Bhaskar Sen

Agartala, Sep 29 (Calcutta Tube) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked nationalised banks to provide services in all villages and human habitations with a minimum population of 2,000, United Bank of India (UBI) chairman Bhaskar Sen said here Tuesday.

‘By 2012, all the human habitations with a population of at least 2,000 people, should be brought under the banks’ financial inclusion,’ Sen said while addressing a loan disbursement camp at western Tripura’s Ranirbazar, 30 km north of Agartala.

‘Of the UBI’s 1,559 branches across the country, 82 percent branches are operating in northeast India,’ Sen said.

The bank has disbursed Rs.42 crore as advances at the loan camp to set up different micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

‘As there is no big investment proposal in the northeastern state, the MSME sectors are the main credit takers in the industry-starved state,’ UBI’s chief regional manager Nilmani Gangopadhyay told IANS.

‘Such loan camps would help increase the credit-deposit ratio in the state,’ Gangopadhyay added.

Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury inaugurated the camp. The minister complained that the credit flow to the northeastern region from nationalised banks was very low.

‘It is unfortunate that despite intervention from the union finance ministry, the credit-deposit ratio for the commercial banks in the region has remained at a level of around 30 percent over the past many years. This should be raised to at least 50 percent by 2010-11,’ Chowdhury said.

The minister urged the nationalised banks to open more branches in rural areas to curb the illegitimate collection of deposit by the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

The Tripura government also launched a crackdown recently and police have arrested officials of several NBFCs.

‘Arrests and raids would continue across the state. We have sealed offices of some NBFCs,’ a police spokesman told reporters in Agartala.

‘The state government has undertaken an inquiry against 84 NBFCs functioning in Tripura. The government has sought advice from the RBI and the (central) finance ministry about the possible steps the state can take,’ the finance minister told reporters.

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