GUWAHATI: The Union Minister of State for Finance, Dr Bhagawat Karad, on Wednesday, said that the Union government has underlined the need for keeping a continuous vigil on the Banking sector so that the banks can effectively run to strengthen the economy of Assam.
"We have given special focus on creating financial literacy among the common people of Assam and Northeast. Along with NABARD, we will organise campaigns at the ground level. A van with personnel will visit each village, interact with the masses, and help them open bank accounts, maintain and continue their bank accounts," said Karad while talking to The Sentinel on Wednesday.
Stating that Assam's Cash Deposit Ratio (CDR) is 55 per cent as against the national average of 60 per cent, the Union Minister said that it was the core issue of discussion in the meeting of State Level Bankers Committee (SBLC).
"We have directed the banks to raise the CDR to 60 per cent within the stipulated timeframe," said Karad, adding that the Centre will provide all logistic help to the banks in this regard.
Pointing out that the State has 3,012 branches of various banks, the Union Minister remarked, "But the number is less than the size of the population and the area. Therefore, we have asked the bankers to open 57 new branches by 2022. We will provide manpower for this move."
The Union Minister added, "The KCC (Kishan Credit Card") was also discussed in the meeting. We are considering several measures to improve the status of KCC holders in the State. The development will provide economic power to the farmers in Assam.
"Yesterday I was in Tripura, Today I held a meeting in Guwahati. We have discussed a host of issues. I want to ensure the real pace of development after three-four months," he said, adding that the government has directed the banks to address the bank-related issues with time-bound programmes.
Stating that effective functioning of the banks will build up a sound economy for the State, the Minister pointed out, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has provided a special focus on the development of the northeastern region. That is why the Union Ministers are visiting the region and interacting with the people frequently. We are committed to accelerating the developmental schemes and programmes. It is with this aim that we are boosting the Banking sector here. All these moves will strengthen the economy of Assam and the entire northeastern region," he added.