New Delhi, Aug 23
The government has told banks to open branches in over 43,000 new rural locations during the current financial year that would bring all habitations with population of over 2,000 under banking net, parliament has been told.
Nearly 73,000 habitations, having population of more then 2,000 (as per 2001 census), were identified by the government. Of these, 29,569 were covered under the banking net in the last financial year, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said.
The remaining will be covered by March 2012, Meena said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha last week.
The government has identified the locations and allocated a certain number to public sector banks, regional rural banks, private sector banks and cooperative banks to provide the banking services.
The minister said as of March 31, 2011, the total number of commercial bank branches in the country were 89,396.
Of these, 33,463 or 37.4 percent bank branches are in rural areas, 22,526 or 25.2 percent in semi-urban areas, 17,676 or 19.8 percent in urban areas, and 15,731 or 17.6 percent are in metropolitan areas, according to the Reserve Bank of India data.
All India average population per branch in India was 13,503 as on March 31, 2011.