Odisha becomes 1st state in extending banking services through SHGs

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Odisha becomes the 1st State to carry forward the financial inclusion and extend banking services in unbanked areas through Self Help Groups formed under Odisha Livelihood Mission ( OLM). An agreement to this effect was signed today between Odisha livelihood Mission and State Bank of India in presence of the Chief Secretary Odisha Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi and Managing Director National Banking Group State Bank of India Sri Rajnish Kumar.

Speaking on the occasion Chief Secretary Sri Padhi said, ‘around 70% of the GPs in Odisha do not have brick and mortar bank branches. Carrying the banking services to people in these remote areas has always been concern of the Govt”. This agreement would go a long way in extending basic banking services to people in those areas. Sri Padhi emphasized that Financial Inclusion is not just opening of bank accounts.

It ‘implies meeting credit needs of the people for enhancing their livelihood and income’. He hoped that SBI would help this process in a big way through SHGs. Speaking about the agreement, MD SBI Sri Kumar said, ‘This is a historic agreement to leverage reach and resources of OLM to provide banking facilities to people in unbanked areas. Odisha is a pioneer state in carrying forward the financial inclusion through close cooperation between SHGs and Banks”.

He hoped that such collaboration would have grater positive impact on adhara seeding of bank accounts. Replying to a media query after the agreement signing, Secretary Panchyati Raj Sri Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh said that OLM has signed the agreement with SBI today by virtue of which OLM would function as Corporate Agent and around 3 lakh SHGs operating under OLM would be the Banking Correspondents ( B.C.).

In the first phase SHGs would be engaged as BCs in around 1000 remote GPs in scheduled areas having no banking facilities. Gradually, it would be extended to 4000 non-banked GPs and then after to the entire State as a
supplement to the banking service.

In another media query, Chief Manager SBI Sri Prasanna Kumar Behera said that though this arrangement people would get the services like opening of bank accounts, opening of recurring/fixed accounts, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, cash remittances, aadhar enabled payment, use of Rupay card and Adhara seeding of accounts for DBT. This would also be of great help, added Sri Behera for covering the rural people under social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Bima Surakshya Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana etc. This would also be helpful in promotion of digital banking.

Director OLM Sri Pranab Jyoti Nath and Asst General Manager SBI Sri Srikant Hota signed the agreement on behalf of OLM and SBI respectively. The agreement signing meeting was held in the conference hall of Odisha Secretariat.
The Development Commissioner Sri R. Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary Panchayati Raj Sri Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary Finance Sri Debendra Kumar Jena, Chief General manager SBI Sri B.V.G. Reddy, Chief General Manager SBI Sri Dulkhabanhu Ratha along with other high officers participated in the agreement-signing meeting.

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Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.