To be extended to another 80 villages
Collector Anshul Mishra has urged bankers to firmly commit themselves to the implementation of biometric Smart Cards scheme and expedite the project.
Addressing the District- level Review Committee meeting for bankers here on Thursday, he expressed dissatisfaction over some bank branches lagging behind in scheme implementation and keeping matters pending. The banks have been told to expand the scheme from the present 42 villages to another 80 in July.
The scheme involves disbursal of pension - and soon all other Social Security Schemes also – through biometric Smart Cards, which enables the pensioners to be able to withdraw their Old Age Pension in their villages itself through Business Correspondents (BCs) appointed by public sector banks. The BCs have been equipped with hand-held devices, connected wirelessly to the respective banks central network.
Since the initiative was a novel one with new technology being introduced, the Collector urged the bankers to monitor the working of BCs. The banks were told to cover all villages before December 2012.
In the first phase of this project, hitherto ‘unbanked’ villages with population above 2,000 are being covered. After this, villages with population between 1,600 and 2,000 would be covered.
Speaking earlier, A.J. George, Assistant General Manager of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reviewed the banking indicators of the district. While expressing broad satisfaction, he pointed out with concern that advances to minorities was only 2 per cent instead of the mandated 10 per cent.
He urged bankers to focus on this section and also improved their reporting
Lead District Manager K.N. Subramanian said that it was proposed to cover 2,500 animals under the DEDS project of NABARD.
Banks had disbursed 1,016 loans in the previous fiscal of 2011-12.
R. Rajaraman, Deputy Collector (Social Security Scheme), B.K. Balavinayagam, Assistant General Manager of Canara Bank, the Lead Bank for Madurai district, were also present in the meeting.
Earlier, Mr. Anshul Mishra gave away awards to prize winners of slogan competition organised on June 5 by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to mark the World Environment Day.
While R. Dharshana (standard X) of Kendriya Vidyalaya bagged the top prize, A.K. Sriram Vignesh (standard IV) of Mepco Schlenk Nursery School came second and A. Vivek, an M.Phil. research scholar, stood third.