‘Banking coverage in rural area alarmingly poor’

‘Banking coverage in rural area alarmingly poor’
Minister Imkong L. Imchen and others at the Financial Inclusion Camp-Mudra Promotion Campaign in Kohima on October 17. (Morung Photo)


Our Correspondent
Kohima | October 17


Minister for health & family welfare Imkong L. Imchen today expressed concern that the banking coverage in the rural area in Nagaland is alarmingly poor.


Out of 74 blocks in the state, 30 blocks are still unbanked in Nagaland, he said while addressing Financial Inclusion Camp-MUDRA Promotion Campaign organized by Finance Department and the State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) here at Capital Convention Centre.


He said under PMJDY, the state has been divided into 212 urban wards and 211 sub service areas (rural). As far as the urban wards are concerned, they are fully covered by bank branches and banking correspondents. But the banking coverage in the rural area is poor.


“Out of 211 sub service areas, only 57 are covered by bank branches. Another 85 sub service areas are covered by banking correspondents. That leaves 69 sub service areas absolutely uncovered by any banking agency,” the minister said.


Imchen said the statistics clearly indicates that people in the rural areas are deprived of coverage under the social security schemes.


“They are also denied access to institutional finance due to absence of banking network,” he said.


He said a sincere effort on the part of the central government have been witnessed to provide genuine financial coverage to the citizens.


“The introduction of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) launched by prime minister on 28th August 2014, along with its package of social security schemes in the form of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yoyana (PMJJBY and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has been a milestone in the direction of providing genuine financial security o the citizens,” the minister said.


The total number of bank accounts opened under the PMJDY census stands 2, 12, 765 in Nagaland so far.


Imchen said while efforts made the banks in bringing the people of the state under enrolment of three social security schemes (PMSBY-65,830, PMJJBY- 33, 830 and APY- 1, 850) is appreciated, the actual figure falls below desirable level.


“Bank should work in a mission mode to bring the people of the state under comprehensive coverage of the social security schemes,” he said.


He said the government may roll out noble financial inclusion schemes, but all such schemes ultimately has to be implemented and made available to the people by the banks.


The minister called upon the banks to bring the poor people in the rural areas under the coverage of the various Financial Inclusion schemes by expediting the process of setting up branches in the unbanked blocks and positioning Banking Correspondence in the uncovered sub-service areas.


He also stressed on the need to create mass awareness on financial inclusion schemes to the people.
Later, the minister handed over token MUDRA loan from various financial institutions to several entrepreneurs of the state.


Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar stated that the purpose of the camp is to sensitize the people and create awareness on the schemes and programmes of financial inclusion and reach out to maximum number of people.


A short film on MUDRA was screened by the SLBC Team. Also, downloading of BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app and live demonstration of transactions was screened. BHIM app was launched on 30th December, 2016, to facilitate e-payment directly through banks and drive towards cashless transactions; it is a mobile app developed by National Payment Corporation of India based on the unified payment interface.


Interaction with MUDRA loan achievers was led by SK Mandal, AGM, SBI Kohima. Two MUDRA loan achievers Vevoto Nyekha and Jonathan Doulo shared their success stories.


Vote of thanks was proposed by Anjali Lyndem Khyriem, Deputy General Manager, State Bank of India, Local Head Office, Guwahati.