IMPHAL, May 9 : Arriving here today on a two-day visit to the State with some promises up his sleeves, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Dr Y V Reddy has given nod to introduction of credit card system in banks and opening up of more ATM centres.
Upon his arrival at Imphal, the RBI Governor convened a high level meeting attended by officials of the State Government and representatives of various banking institutions at the conference hall of Manipur Secretariat South Block to discuss the existing banking scenario in Manipur.
Talking to mediaper-sons, after the meeting, the RBI Governor said that he had discussed the need to improve banking service in the State along with the officials of the State Government and representatives of the banks through use of information technology in a big way.
He informed that while staying at Imphal, he would call on Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh to apprise him of the development taking place in the banking system of not only in India but also in other parts of the world.
To a question on the possibility of opening up a branch of RBI at Imphal, the RBI Governor replied that there has been no such proposal.
When contacted in connection with the meeting held with the RBI Governor, Principal Secretary (Finance) P Saratchandra disclosed that the during the meeting the RBI Governor gave his approval on extending the benefit of the credit card system to the employees of the State Governor and other selected reliable persons.
In view of the difficulties being faced by the customers due to limited number of ATMs existing in the State at present, the RBI Governor has also approved opening up of additional ATM centres in different parts of the State, the Principal Secretary (Finance) further disclosed.
Along with discussing the problems related to frequent shortage of cash in the banks of Manipur, the meeting mooted setting up of more currency chests of the RBI at different parts including Imphal East and Bishnupur, the officer said.
During the course of the discussion, the RBI Governor even assured that necessary expenditure would be meet by the RBI for setting up currency chests of RBI in the banks of Manipur including the State Co-opera- tive Bank, Saratchandra disclosed.
The meeting had also discussed returning of the expenditure incurred by the State Government on hiring helicopter of the Air Force in connection with transportation of cash to Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Jiribam every month by RBI on instalment basis.
The RBI Governor had also mooted giving additional incentive to Self Help Groups which return the loan taken from bank in time by way of extending further loan facilities to encourage such SHGs.
Discussion in the today’s meeting had also touched on disbursal of the pension to the Grade-III and IV employees of the Government through their respective bank accounts, the officer disclosed.
The Principal Secretary (Finance) further disclosed that out of the existing 41 blocks in Manipur, 19 blocks do not have banks of their own while 9 branches of the Rural Bank operating in 95 branches of the blocks have stopped functioning.
Later during the day, the RBI Governor reportedly called on Governor of Manipur Dr SS Sidhu at Raj Bhavan.
According to a statement issued by the Gover- nor’s Secretariat, Raj Bha-van during the meeting, the two discussed about the low credit-deposit ratio, un-served areas, lack of currency chest in some districts, etc.
The RBI Governor expressed that he is aware of most of the problems and had discussed the matter with the State Government and will try to mitigate some of these problems by opening currency chests in one or two places, increasing the number of bank branches, etc.
Furthermore, the RBI Governor said that he is also aware of the problem faced while assessing bank credit in the hill areas of the State as land could not be mortgaged as collateral and assured that he will try to work out a formula to solve this difficulty.
Meanwhile the Pioneer Health Club, Manipur submitted a memorandum to the RBI Governor today.
The memorandum containing a one point charter urged the RBI chief to provide special facilities to Elders and Senior Citizens of the State by opening separate counters in the banks and other financial institutions under the RBI.
The Club pointed out that senior citizens have to endure long queues under the Sun for bank transactions as well as for drawing their pensions.
The RBI Governor was also urged to implement the charter in public interest as is done at the airports, railway stations and other public places.
The Sangai Express