Odisha plea to Centre for banks in left wing extremism affected areas
By Express News Service | Published: 04th August 2017 09:20 AM |
BHUBANESWAR: Seeking more financial assistance for taking up developmental programmes in districts affected by Maoist violence, the State Government on Thursday urged the Centre to direct commercial banks to open branches in unbanked gram panchayats.
Chief Secretary AP Padhi made this request to Union Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha during a review on socio-economic development in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts in Odisha over video conferencing.
The Chief Secretary requested the Cabinet Secretary for allocation of more funds to the State under solar water pump scheme and solar lantern as these schemes have been very successful and popular among people in LWE affected areas.
As providing electricity to hilly areas through grid is not feasible, the Government has taken initiative to energise villages in tribal-dominated districts through non-conventional ways.
Highlighting the urgent need for opening bank branches in the unbanked GPs of 19 LWE affected districts, Padhi requested the Ministry of Finance to issue necessary instructions to heads of different commercial banks operating in the State to cover these areas with new branches.
Noting that 85 per cent GPs of LWE affected districts do not have bank branches, Padhi said it has become difficult for the State Government to carry forward different schemes aimed at financial inclusion.
Explaining that most of these districts have poor Internet connectivity, the Chief Secretary urged Sinha to take up the issue with the Ministry of Telecommunication for upgradation of existing data connectivity to 3G level.
Padhi further requested the Cabinet Secretary for release of Central grant of `280 crore under security related expenditure, the accounts of which were already audited and approved.
Issues relating to establishment of solar parks, school education, skill development, promotion of entrepreneurship, railway projects, tele-connectivity, rural development and security matters were also reviewed at the meeting.
Of 21 hostels for girls sanctioned for Koraput and Malkangiri districts, Padhi said 9 hostels are nearing completion while the progress of the remaining 12 hotels has suffered due to financial constraints. He requested Sinha for early release of the Central share for completion of the projects.