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No prior approval for expansion off-site ATMs

New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that a sub-committee of State level Bankers Committee (SLBC) would identify and formulate an action plan for providing banking facilities in under-banked/unbanked areas in the next three years.

Presenting the budget 2009-10 in Lok Sabha today, Mukherjee said: “A sum of Rs. 100 crore has been set aside as one-time grant in aid to ensure provision of at least one Centre/Point of Sales (POS) for banking services in each of the unbanked blocks.”
“For a country like ours, with significant sections of unbanked population and regions, financial inclusion is vital for sustaining long term equitable development,” he added.

The Minister further said as part of the financial inclusion drive, scheduled commercial banks have been opening ‘no frills’ accounts either with ‘nil’ or very low minimum balances.

So far, these banks have opened 3.3 crore such accounts, he added.

The RBI has announced a further relaxation in its Branch Authorisation Policy.

He later announced that the Scheduled Commercial Banks are now allowed to set up off-site ATMs without prior approval, subject to reporting. (ANI)

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