Demand for new branches rising: FM
Calls proactive approach by banks in meeting people demands Lucknow (PTI): Calling for a positive response...
Calls proactive approach by banks in meeting people demands Lucknow (PTI): Calling for a positive response from the bankers, the Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that there is a growing demand from people for opening bank branches in their vicinity. "Bank branches are important for many reasons. People complain that they cannot open their bank account, if there is no bank branch say within 10 kilometers (range), how do you open a bank account," Chidambaram questioned while inaugurating 300 new branches on a single day in Uttar Pradesh. "Without bank branch how do you reach to the people to mobilise their savings. I am very happy that now there is a rising demand to open a bank branch in our towns and villages. I am sure that the bankers will respond to it," he added. On an average, about 6,000 branches were being opened every year in the last 2-3 years, Chidambaram said. "I am sure that in 2013-14 all our banks will open a large number of branches. In UP alone there is a plan to open another 2700 branches. If you can do it in UP, you would be able to do at least 10,000 to 12,000 branches all over the country. I want all the bankers to put their best efforts to achieve the target," he said. The Finance Minister said that the bank's attitude towards extending loans must change. "When we give loans we are not giving charity. The right to loan is like right to free speech and any other right," he said. "I want all the people to believe that if you are eligible, if you are qualified and have the capacity to repay then you have the right to get loan and it is banker's duty to give it (the loan)," he added. On education loan, the Minister said as compared to some years ago when few got it, during the last six-seven years it had gone up substantially. As many as 25 lakh students availed such loans till December 2012, with the total amount outstanding at Rs 50,000 crore. "I want more and more students to apply for education loan as education and advancement of knowledge will build the country," he said.