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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rajasthan to set up mini banks

JAIPUR: Rajasthan government is planning to set up mini cooperative banks at Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra. The state cooperative minister Parsadilal Meena Tapesh Panwar told ET that these mini banks will reach out to small and marginal farmers of villages which are out of cooperative net.

There are 9,184 village panchayats and 249 panchayat Samiti in the state out of which more than 1000 villages don't have any cooperative set up. "We are not able to disburse agriculture loans at panchayats which are not covered by central cooperative banks and village cooperative societies. Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra provides us an opportunity to set up a one-room computerized mini bank which can not only disburse agri-loan but also bring unbanked population under the banking net," he said.

The mini banks will be empowered to disburse agriculture loan up to Rs 1 lakh based on the credit credentials of the farmer. This year, the state government has set a disbursement target of Rs 6000 crore as against last year's disbursement of Rs 5500 crore. "So far we have bee able to disburse Rs 1600 crore in this kharif season. These mini banks will help us in achieving our target," he said.

Besides, these mini banks will also double up as a payment points for NREGA workers. The cooperative banks account for 35-40% of the total NREGA payments. NREGA workers in unbanked areas get their wages through post offices. "With these banks in place the payment records too will be computerized bringing in more transparency," said a cooperative department official.

This is part of Rajasthan government's ambitious e-governance project for rural areas, where Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra will be used as multi-utility points. The state government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for the computerisation of all seva kendra in the state. Under this, each of the 249 blocks in Rajasthan would have one Kendra which would facilitate rural citizens in payment of various types of bills, in making rail reservations and in procuring copies of birth/death/caste certificates without 'usual harassment and delay'.

Source: EconomicTimes


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