Under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), all villages were mapped by banks into 1.59 lakh Sub-Service Areas (SSAs) with one SSA catering to 1,000 to 1,500 households. This was stated by Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.
As informed by banks, while 0.33 lakh Sub-Service Areas (SSAs) have been covered with bank branches, 1.26 lakh SSAs are covered by deployment of interoperable Business Correspondents (BCs).
Thakur further stated that as per extant guidelines dated 18.5.2017 on rationalisation of Branch Authorisation Policy, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted general permission to domestic Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks) to open banking outlets (i.e. a fixed point service delivery unit, manned by either bank’s staff or its Business Correspondent) at any place in the country, without seeking prior approval of RBI in each case, subject to at least 25 percent of the total number of banking outlets opened during a financial year being in unbanked rural centres i.e. centres having population less than 10,000 (Tier 5 and Tier 6 centres).
Thakur stated that in pursuance of RBI guidelines, rolling out of banking outlets in uncovered areas is a continuous process and looked after by State Level Bankers’ Committees, in consultation with the concerned State Government, member banks and other stakeholders. Banks, inter-alia, consider proposals for opening banking outlets in the light of RBI’s instructions, their business plans and their commercial viability.