Inaugurates 1,404th branch of Indian Bank at Kalla near Sivaganga
Majority of the population not interested in opening bank accountsAll sections of society, including poor should open bank accounts Government has launched a no frills account scheme
SIVAGANGA: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has urged bankers and all stakeholders to work towards bringing new customers under the banking network and make them join the mainstream of development.
Inaugurating the 1,404th branch of Indian Bank at Kallal near here on Wednesday, he said financial inclusion was the biggest challenge before bankers and financial institutions. Even after many years of nationalisation, majority of the population were not interested in opening bank accounts. They still do not know how to open a bank account. All sections of society, including the poor should open bank accounts.
For providing banking and other financial services to large number of people, the Government had launched the no frills account scheme. All banks, including Indian Bank, were working towards achieving the goal.
Mr. Chidambaram said Indian Bank, which was very weak in its financial position in 1996, had once again become a successful one from 2001. It was making profit since then. After a 13-year gap, the bank had given Rs.101 crore as profit share to the Centre. It had also reduced the Non-Performing Assets percentage to a great extent.
Lauding the efforts of the board of directors and employees of the bank for their hard work to take the bank on the path of growth, he said it should continue to work towards development of village economy.
The Minister said the United Progressive Alliance Government had set the target of doubling agricultural credit within three years. All banks had done good work in achieving the target well ahead of the stipulated period. So far, agricultural loan to the tune of Rs. 167,000 crore had been extended.
K.C. Chakrabarty, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank, said nearly 75 per cent of the population had not opened bank accounts. Similarly, only 10 per cent of the population had opted for insurance cover and two per cent had entered the capital market.
Indian bank had taken up the national pilot project for financial inclusion in the union territory of Pondicherry.
State Minister K.R. Periakaruppan, Collector M.A. Siddique, Executive Director M.S. Sundara Rajan and N. Sundaram MLA spoke.