Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday, requested for having a RBI office at Itanagar in order to have close regulatory oversight of Public and Private Sector Banks to meet the goal of financial inclusion.
In a letter written to Dr Urjit R Patel, Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Khandu said that a RBI office at Itanagar will go a long way in strengthening the Financial Institutions and also streamlining other financial transactions in the State.
While justifying his request, Khandu wrote “Arunachal Pradesh is a strategically important State and its geographical remoteness of the place is further aggravated by the fact that in several parts of the State, there is poor Road and Telecom connectivity. The Rural habitations with sparse population make Banking extremely difficult. I would like to underscore that there are only 182 Bank Branches in the State and only 223 ATMs in the whole State, mostly concentrated in the District Head Quarters”.
“Unfortunately most of the Banks are reluctant to move beyond urban settlements and there is a very limited response to Common Service Centres (CSCs), given the low volumes of transaction”, Khandu observed. He emphasised for an aggressive approach to maximise the reach of bank services to far-flung remote areas to make Prime Minister’s vision of cashless transaction a cent percent success.
He further suggested that to make banking viable, it would be appropriate for the RBI to devise a specific scheme to meet the operating expenses of Banks and CSPs in the North Eastern Region, especially for the remote parts of Arunachal Pradesh.