Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary Naresh Kumar on Friday asked the bankers to connect all the unbanked villages of the state by January 26, 2022.

As per the latest report presented before the chief secretary, there are a total of 46 unbanked villages in Arunachal Pradesh.

The villages are located across 8 state districts with a sparse population, ranging from 4 at the Hot Spring Village in Kibitho, Anjaw being the lowest and 1571 at Khasa Village in Pangchao, Longding being the highest in terms of population.

The chief secretary was addressing the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) at the civil secretariat here. He said banking coverage in remote areas is still a challenge for Arunachal due to its geographical characteristics.

“Irrespective of the challenges, we have done reasonably well in the last few years to reach the uncovered areas, and whatever is left should be taken in a mission mode to cover the entire state by January 26 next year,” he said.

Kumar suggested that these unbanked villages may be either covered by branch, customer service points or India Post Payments Banks.

The State Bank of India, Arunachal Pradesh State Cooperative Apex Bank, ICICI and others were allotted the task to cover the 46 unbanked locations of the state.

The chief secretary also reviewed the progress of government-sponsored schemes– Prime Minister Mudra Yojana (PMMY), Deen Dayal Upadhyay Swavalamban Yojna (DDUSY), Atma Nirbhar Bagwani Yojana and Atma Nirbhar Krishi Yojana, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), etc. in the said.

He said the main objective of these schemes is to support the farmers, young and upcoming entrepreneurs, and self-help groups with some financial subsidies by the government for their livelihood and economic activities so that they become financially capable and independent.

Stating that it is the responsibility of every bank to handhold the farmers, entrepreneurs, and SHGs, the chief secretary requested the bankers to give priority to the applicants seeking loans under the government-sponsored schemes and be a part of the economic development of the state.

Further stressing the financial literacy of the people, Kumar asked the banks to conduct financial awareness workshops and camps regularly in all the districts.

Principal Secretary (Finance) Sharat Chauhan, Commissioner (Planning) Prashant S Lokhande, Secretary (Finance) Y W Ringu, Rural Development secretary A Talwade, Industries secretary Hage Tari and senior representatives of several banks including the Khadi and Village Industries Commission and NABARD took part in the meeting.

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