Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said the Centre’s advocacy of cashless economy is possible only when there is a bank branch in every panchayat and space will be provided to start new banks in panchayat bhawans in the state. “The Centre is talking of cashless economy, which is doing away with the use of cash in day to day works. For this there should be a bank branch in every panchayat,” Kumar said while addressing a ‘Chetna Sabha’ during the course of his ‘Nishchay Yatra’.
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He highlighted the shortage of bank branches at grass-roots level and urged the banks that “If you do not find land for starting a branch, the state government will provide space in panchayat bhawans built in every panchayat of the state for the purpose.”
State Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, while presiding over the last state-level bankers meet in December last year, had regretted that out of an annual target to open 1,640 new branches by December 15, 2016, only 87 new branches were opened by 35 commercial, rural and cooperative banks.
Siddiqui had hinted that the state government might penalise banks for denying government deposits for not opening sufficient branches despite instructions of the RBI to reduce people’s hardship on account of demonetisation.
In another announcement, Kumar said contractual teachers would get benefits of the 7th Pay Commission, process for which was on for state government employees and pensioners. Making rich reference to recently concluded 350th ‘Prakash Parva’ on the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, Kumar said the magnificent organisation of the event has lifted the image of Bihar not only in the country, but also abroad.
He reiterated the benefits of prohibition in the state and exhorted citizens to participate in the human chain on January 21 to express strong commitment towards the ban on liquor.