Technology up-gradation of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) is of vital importance, says Finance Minister
August 18, 2009:
Finance Minister of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a meeting said that in the competitive banking environment, technology up gradation of the RRBs is of vital importance. The level of computerization in the RRBs varies widely. Only 9 RRBs are fully computerized, while many branches do not have any computers at all, he noted.
He recalled that in the meeting held on August 27, 2008, it was decided that the Sponsor Banks would take the initiative and guide their RRBs to implement the Core Banking Solution at the earliest possible. He applauded the Sponsor Banks, especially, SBI, PNB and Union Bank for taking up this task seriously and helping their RRBs move over to the CBS system.
He encouraged the remaining Sponsor Banks to come forward so that the public sector banking in India as a whole begins working on the CBS platform. FM requested the sponsor banks to ensure that the technology solutions provided to the RRBs are safe, modern, scalable and such that fully meet their future requirements also.
FM appreciated the good work done by RRBs, he, however, exhorted them to play a greater role in augmenting the flow of credit to the rural areas and reaching the unreached sections. He noted that the RRBs have been making efforts in establishing Farmers' Clubs, issuing Kisan Credit Cards, General Credit Cards and opening of 'No-frills accounts' in efforts towards financial inclusion and NABARD has taken up a R&D Project on financial inclusion with ICT solutions in 15 RRBs of the country. He expressed the hope that with support from RBI and NABARD, the RRBs shall emerge as the market leaders in the Ministry’s plan for achieving cent percent financial inclusion.
RBI has already made the branch licensing norms more flexible and as a result, during the last 2 years the RRBs had opened 715 new branches. Shri Mukherjee suggested that targets should be set by each RRB to give greater thrust to branch expansion and at least 2000 more branches are opened in the coming two years i.e. 2009-10 and 2010-11.
NOTE: Government of India initiated the process of restructuring of RRBs in September, 2005 and as a result thereof, 159 RRBs have been amalgamated. As on date, there are 84 RRBs (46 amalgamated and 38 stand alone). The new amalgamated RRBs are being included in the Second Schedule to the RBI Act, 1934 by RBI after following the due process which includes statutory inspections by NABARD...Read more
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