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Efforts on to connect far-flung areas of rural interiors with financial sector: LG

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Reviews progress towards financial inclusion by banks in J&K

Jammu:  Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said efforts are being made to enable far-flung areas of rural interiors to become fully connected with financial sector.

Reviewing the progress towards financial inclusion by banks in J&K with MK Jain, Deputy Governor RBI, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary and other officials, the LG shared the vision of the UT government for extending the banking and financial services to the doorsteps of the people of J&K.

“To broaden the social base of development, we are enhancing people’s access to financial products, promotion of ‘one district one product’, institutional credit to women, youth, SMEs, handicrafts, horticulture and various other priority sectors for effective contribution to growth processes of the UT,” the LG said.

According to an official press release, he said “J&K has become one of the preferred destinations for industrial investment, tourism, film industry and real estate sector.”

He said the government is committed to ensure adequate and timely availability of credit to industrial and different productive sectors of the economy to finance growth.

“In the last two years, various reforms have been executed to provide opportunities to scheduled commercial banks to expand operations in J&K,” the LG observed.

“We will also work together to make our credit lending system more sensitive to the needs of women and youth entrepreneurs, farmers and artisans,” the LG said.

“There is a need for additional banking outlets in rural areas to bring excluded households into the fold of institutional credit and financial services in a structured and sustainable manner,” he said while adding that the enabling ecosystem will also bridge the gap between government schemes and people living in geographically difficult terrain.

The LG asked the concerned officers to explore all possibilities for extending financial handholding to the eligible beneficiaries through various government schemes and interventions.

MK Jain, Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India highlighted the importance of increasing the presence of banks for greater financial inclusion. He informed that the implementation of government-sponsored schemes is monitored through the UT level Bankers’ Committee at periodic intervals.

Discussions were also held regarding creation of banking infrastructure, streamlining the working of district cooperatives and other banking cooperative societies, effective utilization of funds under NABARD schemes, concerns of the industries and commerce sector, availability of banking services, micro finance institutions and NBFCs, and other important issues.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance department;  Baldev Prakash, Managing Director & CEO, J&K Bank; Kamal P. Patnaik, Regional Director, RBI; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the LG;  Ranjan Prakash Thakur, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce department (through virtual mode) and other senior officers attended the meeting at Raj Bhawan, the press release said.

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