Banking facilities are being provided to all the panchayats of Bihar through various means but 125 villages having more than 5,000 population still remained unbanked, the assembly was informed Wednesday. In reply to a calling attention motion of BJP's Jivesh Kumar on opening a bank branch in every panchayat, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, "As per the State Level Bankers Committee's (SLBC) latest report, banking facilities are being provided to all the panchayats of the state." The facilities are in the form of brick and mortar branches, customer service points (CSP) and banking correspondents, said Modi who also holds finance portfolio.
Till March 31, the number of bank branches in the state is 7469 including 5917 located in rural or semi-urban areas, apart from 18,230 business correspondents/CSPs. The government has carried out a survey to identify unbanked villages with more than 5,000 population and found out that there are 125 such villages, Modi said.
Out of 602 such villages with more than 5,000 people, banking outlets have been opened in 477 villages, he said. The state government is taking steps to identify villages having less than 5,000 population where it now focuses to provide banking facilities through business correspondents, he added.
Different banks have been asked to enhance facilities in panchayats/villages during SLBC meetings, he said. Banking facilities are also being provided through India Post Payment Bank's 38 branches in as many districts.
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