Bhubaneswar: An agreement was signed on Monday between the Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) and the State Bank of India (SBI) in presence of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and SBI MD Rajnish Kumar.
With the signing, Odisha became the first State to carry forward the financial inclusion and extend banking services in unbanked areas through Self Help Groups formed under the OLM.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary Padhi said that around 70 per cent of the panchayats in the state do not have brick and mortar bank branches. Carrying the banking services to people in these remote areas has always been the concern of the Government. The agreement would go a long way in extending basic banking services to people in those areas. Padhi emphasized that financial inclusion is not just about opening of bank accounts; it implies meeting credit needs of the people for enhancing their livelihood and income. He hoped that the SBI would help the process in a big way through SHGs.
Speaking about the agreement, SBI MD Kumar hoped that the collaboration would give greater positive impact on adhaar seeding of bank accounts.
Panchayati Raj Secretary Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh said that the OLM has signed the agreement with SBI by virtue of which the OLM would function as corporate agent and around 3 lakh SHGs operating under OLM would be the Banking Correspondents (BC). In the first phase, the SHGs would be engaged as BCs in around 1,000 remote GPs in scheduled areas having no banking facilities. Gradually, it would be extended to 4,000 non-banked GPs and later, to the entire State as a supplement to the banking service.
SBI Chief Manager Prasanna Kumar Behera said that through the arrangement people would get the services like opening of bank accounts, opening of recurring/fixed accounts, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, cash remittances, adhara enabled payment, use of Rupay card and Adhara seeding of accounts for DBT. He also said that it would be also helpful for covering the rural people under social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Bima Surakshya Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, further promoting digital banking.
OLM Director Pranab Jyoti Nath and SBI Assistant General Manager Srikant Hota signed the agreement on behalf of OLM and SBI respectively.