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Grameen banks merged for better administration

Special Correspondent
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The Union government took another step forward in its efforts to have a single rural bank in one State by merging the Krishna Grameena Bank, a subsidiary of the State Bank of India, with the Prathi Gramin Bank, a Canara Bank-subsidiary. The new bank was christened ‘Prathi Krishna Gramin Bank’.

The newly formed bank, which officially came into existence on August 23, would be a subsidiary of the Canara Bank and its head office would be located in Bellary with jurisdiction over Bellary, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Chikballapur, Koppal, Raichur, Shimoga, Gulbarga, Bidar and Yadgir districts.

The Union government, as a long-term measure, has initiated steps to merge small regional rural banks to make one entity for each State and also have an apex rural bank.

Although a section of the employees, particularly in the erstwhile Krishna Grameena Bank, opposed the merger and wanted its separate identity to be retained, the Union government brushed this opposition and formally issued a gazette notification on August 23 in this regard.

Before the merger the erstwhile Pragati Gramin Bank had jurisdiction over Bellary, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Chikballapur, Koppal, Raichur and Shimoga, with its headquarters in Bellary.

The Krishna Grameena Bank, headquartered at Gulbarga, had jurisdiction over Gulbarga, Bidar and Yadgir districts.

With the merger of the two rural banks, the consolidated net worth of the merged regional rural bank is Rs. 786 crore with a combined strength of 602 branches.

The total deposits of the bank went up to Rs. 6,913 crore and the combined advances stood at Rs. 6,925 crore with a total business of Rs. 13,838 crore.

The credit reposit ration of the new regional rural bank is 100.17 per cent.

Stronger fundamentals

Sources in the new bank said here on Sunday that the amalgamation would result in economies of scale in operation, improved outreach of the bank and would help in strengthening the bank to contribute in a better way for the development of the areas under its jurisdiction.

The Canara Bank, as the new bank’s sponsor, will ensure protection of the interests of depositors and borrowers, who would be allowed to operate their existing accounts in the newly formed bank as before.

Customers with chequebook facilities can continue to use their existing cheques until the leaves are exhausted. However, they should get the new bank’s seal affixed on all unused cheque leaves.

The share-holding pattern would be retained for the new bank, with 50 per cent of the shares held by the Union government, 35 per cent by Canara Bank and 15 by the State.

The new bank is called Prathi Krishna Gramin Bank

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