Staff Reporter

Chidambaram says:

  • 51 per cent of farmers have no access to banking services
  • Vijaya Bank has come to symbolise that small is efficient

    BANGALORE: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday exhorted public sector banks and other financial institutions to join India's journey towards becoming the third largest economy in the world in the next few years, saying "nothing can stop India from getting there."

    Mr. Chidambaram, who was chief guest at the valedictory of the platinum jubilee celebrations of Vijaya Bank, said though it would be a daunting task, the Government had begun implementing a policy that would guide the nation on this path.

    "The growing GDP and the question of how to finance it and the rapidly expanding human resource and the need to tap it productively, are the challenges before an India that hopes to become the third largest economy," Mr. Chidambaram said. He said banks should join in the initiative to address the 48 per cent of households that do not have access to banks.

    He said 51 per cent of farmers and 78 per cent of rural non-farming community had no access to banking. Mr. Chidambaram said Vijaya Bank's journey across 75 years had come to symbolise the essence of "small is beautiful, efficient and effective."

    Delivering the Mulki Sundara Rama Shetty Memorial Lecture, Lokaykta N. Santosh Hegde said good governance often takes a beating when the State begins to regard itself as a trading house instead of playing the facilitator and ensuring equity to all sections of society.

    Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said institutions such as Vijaya Bank could help the Government realise its goals of touching the poor and other sections that are left out of the banking loop.

    Mr. Chidambaram launched two schemes of the bank, the V-Suraksha for ex-service people, and V-Shiksha for teachers. Union Minister of State for Finance Pavan Kumar Bansal, Vijaya Bank's Chairman and Managing Director Prakash Mallya and Executive Director Valliappan were present.

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