Fadnavis wants banks to expand in Konkan, Vidarbha, Marathwada

Mumbai: Stating that 90 per cent of the banking activity in Maharashtra is concentrated in Mumbai, adjoining Thane and Pune, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today asked bankers to form a working group to ensure that the services are more broad-based, so as to boost growth.

Chairing a special meeting of the State Level Banking Committee, Fadnavis asked the banks to study the pockets which do not have any branches, an official statement said.

Economic growth has been the casualty in regions where the banking network is not widespread, he said, and suggested
that the banks concentrate on Konkan, Marathwada and Vidarbha.

SLBC should take a lead in forming the working group and come up with recommendations for the state government, the
Chief Minister said, promising all help from the government.

"There is a need to do away with this skewed nature of the banking activities," the CM said.

According to an RBI policy, banks must have a fourth of the new branches in the unbanked semi-urban and rural areas.

SLBC, led by the Bank of Maharashtra, works with the government in addressing the banking needs of the states.

"The working group will be formed in the next two-three days and will devise a methodology to make sure credit is uniformly distributed across the state," Bank of Maharashtra Executive Director R K Gupta told PTI after the meeting.

On the Centre's flagship Jan Dhan Yojana, the Chief Minister was informed that the banks have attained the full target by getting 74 lakh families into the banking fold.

At the meeting, the bankers told the government that an overhaul of the agriculture and related schemes by the administration will help them contribute better for the state.

Bankers also assured the CM that they are working hard to improve the financial services in the scheduled (backward) areas.

Principal secretary, rural development, V Giriraj asked the banks to give more credit to self-help groups, the statement said.

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