The post-demonetisation situation is gradually improving in Odisha with the Reserve Bank of India pumping over Rs 5,000 crore new currency notes into banks and state government’s making alternative arrangement for the people in unbanked regions of the state.
“Around 50 per cent of the unbanked Gram Panchayats have been provided with the banking services during last couple of days. However, about 2,000 more GPs await banking service,” said Chief Secretary A P Padhi after talking to the Cabinet Secretary on the prevailing situation.
The General Manager RBI, Prasanna Kumar Das, who attended the review meeting here, said above Rs 5,000 new currency notes have been given to the banks.
He also assured the state government of additional cash supply to respective chests for issuing notes to Branch Post Offices.
Reviewing the progress, Padhi asked the banks to cover the rest unbanked GPs through Branch Post Offices, Self Help Groups and Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) Bank Mitras engaged by Panchayati Raj department.
Since Bank Mitras are already familiar with banks, their services can easily be utilised for the purpose, Padhi told the bank authorities.
He also suggested the Post Master General to focus on the uncovered 2,000 GPs through their branch post offices (BPOs).
The state government also suggested the State Bank of India (SBI) to provide sufficient cash to the BPOs as per their requirement. The BPOs would allow deposit up to Rs 25,000 and withdrawal up to Rs 5,000 per day in one single account, Padhi said.
Around 1,000 OLM Bank Mitras are now working at GPs and village levels. Almost each village has one or more SHGs linked to the bank. Most of the branch post offices are located in rural areas.
“It is expected that utilisation of their services as bank correspondents will be of great help in covering the unbanked GPs,” state finance secretary T K Pande said.
The meeting also decided that since the cash flow has increased, special District Coordination Committee Meeting would be convened under the Chairmanship of Collectors to monitor the ground level situation closely.