Kohima: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that the government attempts to implement every government scheme in such a way that all eligible citizens are covered.
Addressing a bankers’ conclave and credit outreach programme in Kohima, Sitharaman said that banks which deal with very essential financial requirements need to keep themselves adept and up-to-date on technologies which enable mobile banking.
She said that in Nagaland, the government’s mission is to include all eligible citizens in each government scheme because of the nature, topography and terrain that the state is endowed with, and access being a challenge, the only way to overcome it is mobile connectivity.
Sitharaman highlighted the important role played by ‘Bank Mitras’ in a state like Nagaland where even a block headquarter becomes difficult for villagers to reach, and expressed her happiness that the Bank Mitras are serving the purpose well in the state.
She also encouraged the banks to have a few more of them so there is greater access for the villagers.
The Finance Minister commended Nagaland for performing well in schemes like Atal Pension Yojana, MUDRA and Standup India.
Sitharaman set a target of outreach programme to commence by September 1 and to conclude by November 30 covering all eligible beneficiaries to avail the benefits from the credit schemes.
Thanking Sitharaman for initiating and getting the credit outreach programme organised, and for setting into motion a bouquet of initiatives which will move Nagaland towards 100 per cent financial inclusion, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that through this credit outreach, the banks will be extending credit of Rs 223 crore under various schemes as well as retail loans to the people of Nagaland.
Rio said the North East Small Finance Bank has expressed intent to extend loans of Rs 150 crore to small entrepreneurs and farmers, and also open up 10 branches in the state.
Sitharaman on Tuesday also flagged off a mobile ATM van of Nagaland Rural Bank funded by NABARD under FIF.
During the programme, Sitharaman distributed token cheques to all the beneficiaries of 11 major schemes, amounting to Rs 205 crore.
The Finance Minister also launched two projects under the Tribal Development Fund of NABARD. It was announced that 100 per cent saturation of all eligible farmers under KCC in two project areas in Wokha and Phek districts will be carried out by the Nagaland State Cooperative Bank.