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State-level bankers’ panel to get more freedom

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In tech mode: Reserve Bank of India Regional Director S. Ramaswamy and General Manager Anil K. Sarma at a videoconferencing session with Deputy Governor Usha Thorat on Wednesday. —
In tech mode: Reserve Bank of India Regional Director S. Ramaswamy and General Manager Anil K. Sarma at a videoconferencing session with Deputy Governor Usha Thorat on Wednesday. —

Special Correspondent

Plan for rehabilitation of NoRKs returning home

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State-level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) will be given the freedom under the lead bank scheme to work out banking sector development plan to rehabilitate Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs) returning to the State following the global economic recession, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Usha Thorat has said.

Addressing reporters through video-conferencing from Mumbai on Wednesday, Ms. Thoratt said the draft report of the high-level committee formed to review the lead bank scheme had recommended the formation of a one-time State and district-level banking sector development plan similar to those mooted for the North-Eastern region. The plan would chalk out roles and responsibilities of banks, State governments and other stakeholders to ensure banking development for inclusive growth. The plans could be drawn up by a sub-committee headed by the SLBC convener and officials of State government, RBI, NABARD and other major participating banks.

Guidelines

The RBI will consider a proposal to prepare guidelines for rehabilitating NoRKs too among other major issues. It had been proposed to organise workshops for drawing up the development plans. The high-level committee recommended to extend the banking services to 1,07,000 villages which had a population of 2,000 and upwards using the advancement in technology by 2011.

Considering the track record of the State in this regard, the SLBC would be given more functional freedom and identify their own thrust areas. The committee had recommended setting up of financial literacy and credit counselling centres by the banks and redressing grievances through quarterly awareness and feedback public meetings in the districts. In order to make it more meaningful, the banking ombudsman should also attend such meetings. The report had called for strengthening the recovery mechanism.

Later, Regional Director S. Ramaswamy and General Manager Anil K. Sarma told reporters that the main objective of the lead bank scheme was to ensure credit flow to priority sector and there was renewed emphasis on financial inclusion. Though the RBI has a set of uniform guidelines, it would be implemented to address the problems in the State.

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