In the first initiative of its kind in the country, Odisha Space Applications Centre (ORSAC), the apex body for space technology applications in the state, has designed an exclusive portal to map the banking system in the state.
The portal was launched by Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhushan Behera at the 147th State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting in Bhubaneshwar.
ORSAC has developed the portal for the RBI and aimed at promoting financial inclusion goals.
As per RBI, Bhubaneswar office, a total of 4,253 gram panchayats in Odisha are stilled unbanked.
“The portal will furnish information on branch location, unbanked gram panchayats, distance buffer, the distance of nearest bank from gram panchayat and distance of nearest bank from the village. It is a move aimed at financial inclusion”, said Sandeep Tripathi, Chief Executive, ORSAC.
“There are about 4,995 bank branches and 6,054 ATMs in Odisha.The portal will be updated regularly. Apart from banks, general masses can also have access to the portal,” he added.
Behera futher said that the new portal will provide information on unbanked gram panchayats and will also be helpful in opening brick and mortar branches in these areas.
Odisha government has set up a target to open 340 brick and mortar branches and 337 fixed location business correspondents and ultra small branches in unbanked gram panchayats in a period of three years.
Speaking on the occasion, the state finance minister showed his concern about the declining trend of the Cash Deposit (CD) ratio in the state.
“The comparative position of CD ratio during 2015-16 and 2016-17 does not inspire confidence. The credit deposit ratio excluding advance sanctioned in other States and utilised in our state is 50.93 per cent against the benchmark of 60 per cent,” said Behera.
“It may be noted that CD ratio in Odisha has declined by about 6 per cent in 2016-17 and the credit investment to deposit ratio has deteriorated by around 5 per cent. Similarly, the advance to the MSME sector has come down by 18 per cent in 2016-17 over the previous year,” he said.
“The state of education loans and advances to weaker sections has declined marginally.These are disturbing trends,” he further added.