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    Pondy gets total banking tag

    PUDUCHERRY: In a first of its kind in the country, banking services have been provided at all villages in the union territory of Puducherry.This was declared by chief minister N Rangasamy at the State level bankers meet here on Tuesday. He said banking services had been provided to all the 42 villages with population of more than 2000 and to 25 villages which have a population below 2000. As of now 2,32,413 SB accounts have been opened of which 29,380  have been covered under ICT-based financial inclusion.With this initiative, customers can not only have bank account but also do transactions at their door steps through the banking correspondent model. They have also been provided with banking and other financial services like credit facilities, general credit card, kisan credit card and micro insurances.Rangasamy said the seed of 100 per cent financial inclusion was sown in the UT by way of implementing the national pilot project for financial inclusion during his previous tenure in 2005. With the banking services reaching out to all the villages, the scheme should be beneficial to the account holders, he said, and added that banks should open more branches so that  villagers could directly access the banks.Stating that educational loans were highly important as the government’s assistance was not enough, he said banks should be more proactive in simplifying the application and procedures for availing of the educational loan. He said that there were many deficiencies in the educational loan disbursement and appealed to banks to address the issues. The education of students was important  and the Indian Bank, being a lead bank, should ensure that other banks with area-specific tasks of disbursement of education loans fulfil their requirements, he said. Even for setting up enterprises, the bank should be more proactive in  extending loans to help people earn their living.