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Banking access to villages with over 2000 population by March 2012: RBI Governor

December 8, 2011 - Kolkata

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao on Thursday planned to make banking accessible to villages of the country with over 2000 population by March 2012.

Subbarao had met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding the upgradation of entrepreneur centres in the state in Kolkata on Wednesday.

While addressing mediapersons, Subbarao said that about 7,846 villages lack basic banking facilities.

"The target is that all villages with population of over 2000 must be covered by banking access, by March 2012. There are about 7,486 villages falling into that category in West Bengal," he said.

He added that they discussed upgradation of centres for entrepreneurship development for the people of West Bengal.

He was in Kolkata to attend a board meeting of RBI on Thursday.

Subbarao, however, declined to comment on the financial health of West Bengal by saying that Banerjee had said that decisive and remedial steps have been taken in this regard.

The Governor also said that the state government must cut down their expenses and increase taxes in order to improve its financial situation.

"We know that the government of West Bengal is asking for that special package, and it is a decision of government of India and RBI has no locus standi and view on it. Generally they must raise their taxes, compress their expenditure, in order to improve the fiscal situation," he said.

Subbarao also said that he had requested Banerjee for the allocation of land in the state to set up centres of training to impart entrepreneurship skills to the unemployed, since the current set of such institutions did not operate on a permanent basis.


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