ON THURSDAY afternoon, a contractor with PSP Projects, an infrastructure development company, walked into the Bank of India (BoI) branch in the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT)-City area, with photographs and documents of 700 labourers. He wanted to open their bank accounts, so that their salaries could be paid.
The bank manager, B J Parmar, asking him to return on Friday, with all the necessary KYC documents. “This will give me enough time to arrange for 700 applications,” said Parmar.
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Bankers in GIFT City, an ambitious project to create a global financial hub on 886 acres of land between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, said they have been able to widen their customer base after demonetisation. Due to their limited number of customers, they had both the funds and the time needed to serve the inflow of requests for new bank accounts from people working within the GIFT City area as well as those living in the surrounding villages like Lavarpur, Valad, Limbodiya, Pirojpur and Shahpur.
“Business has been brisk after demonetisation. After opening this branch about six months ago, we had little traction in the 103 accounts. But after November 10, we have not only doubled the number of account holders, but added over Rs 45 lakh to our small deposits alone,” said Parmar.
The Syndicate Bank branch has close to 2,400 bank accounts of which 1,160 are Jan Dhan accounts. “Yesterday we opened 35 new accounts, all labourers from Madhya Pradesh and other states who are employed in maintaining the area,” said V S Raghuvanshi, senior branch manager, adding that 60 new accounts have been opened since November 10.
Similarly, the Gujarat State Co-operative Bank (GSCB) has also opened about 30 new accounts after demonetisation.
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