Staff Reporter

For payment of social security pensions and NREGS wages

Business target put at Rs. 2,453.75 crores

The bank has 32 branches in Ganjam and Srikakulam

BERHAMPUR: The Berhampur zone of Andhra Bank has decided to introduce ‘smart cards’ for payment of social security pensions and wages of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) beneficiaries.

The Berhampur zone of the bank comprises 72 branches in parts of south Orissa and Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Bank opened up the new Berhampur zonal office in May.

The Berhampur zonal manager of the bank, T. Venkaiah, said the bank would introduce the pilot project of smart card implementation for payments under social guarantee schemes in Gara mandal area of Srikakulam district.

Later, it would be extended to other areas. The smart cards would use biometric system to check withdrawal of money by any person other than the account holder beneficiary.

Lead bank

The bank has taken up the initiative as Andhra Bank happens to be the lead bank for Ganjam, Gajapati districts in Orissa and Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.

In these three districts, the bank has Andhra Bank Institute of Rural Development to promote rural employment and skill development.

Mr. Venkaiah said the bank targeted to achieve total business worth Rs. 2453.75 crores during the current financial year which would end in March 2010.

In the last financial year, the bank had a total business worth Rs. 1888.42 crores in the zone. During this period, it had deposits worth Rs. 1279 crores and its advances were Rs. 609 crores.

The advances for agriculture was Rs. 230.55 crores during the period.

Out of the 72 branches of the bank in the zone, Ganjam district of Orissa and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh have 32 braches each. Rest of the branches of the bank are in Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Kalhandi districts of south Orissa.

Out of them 38 are rural branches, 29 are semi-urban and only five are urban branches.