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Nabard woos banks to open branches in Maoist-infested areas

NabardIn an attempt to strengthen presence of banking network in the Maoist-infested districts across India which lack in banks, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has decided to extend its support to the banks. Besides, Nabard would also give its support for solar-powered VSAT connectivity to the banks.

In this regard, Nabard has shot a letter to the Chairmen and CEOs of the scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and state cooperatives, emphasising on the need of more banks in left wing extremist-affected (LWE) districts. It has also said that presence of banks in the said districts is highly critical for the people.

Nabard has indentified 150 LWE districts for implementation of the scheme in the states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Telangana.

According to sources, Nabard would provide VSAT connectivity support for new branches opening in the 150 districts from Financial Inclusion Fund. The agriculture bank attributed poor connectivity as a major hurdle behind banks’ disinclination in opening branches in the LWE districts.

First come first serve policy would be opted by Nabard to support banks to open their branches in Maoist-affected districts. That apart, only seven branches from each identified district will be supported under the scheme. The banks keen to set up branches in the affected un-banked villages can avail support from either of the two models finalized by Nabard and the scheme will remain in force for banks till March 2017.

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