Himachal achieves total credit inclusion

Shimla: As the lead banker for Himachal, UCO bank after having achieved total financial inclusion of all state households in 2007 had now reached another milestone by bringing the entire state under credit inclusion, making it the first state in the country to do so, SK Goel, chairman UCO Bank stated here on Saturday.

The cent-percent credit inclusion provides every willing and eligible household in the state with a revolving credit facility during the current year, he said.

Interacting with the media after a board meeting, the chairman said that in response to a heavy demand the bank intends to enhance the value of magic cheque instrument from upto Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 crore.

Goel said that after having introduced such magic pre-paid cheques, their popularity was growing as it did enable transactions to be safely conducted on even holidays and Sundays when banks were otherwise closed.

To cater to corporate demand, we intend to increase the value of these magic cheques upto Rs 10 crore, he added.

Though less than half of the existing 2069 bank branches were covered under core banking solutions (CBS), the chairman said that by March 2010, the bank has targeted to achieve full computerisation and the remaining 1049 branches would be brought under CBS banking.

The delay is achieving total CBS banking was because 67 percent of the branches were in rural or semi-urban areas, he said.

Goel claimed that UCO bank was the only public sector bank to fulfil all national targets set by the government be it loans to agriculture sector or any of the government sponsored schemes.

The bank had also initiated integrated village banking, where by 5 villages including one in Himachal were adopted by the bank for meeting all is developmental loan needs. He said that Rs 42 crore had been advanced under this scheme which was being extended to another 25 villages this year.

Under the government loan wavier scheme, the bank had provided a debt relief of Rs 469 crore to about 380,000 farmers. In the last three years NPAs of the bank had come down from about Rs 1800 crore to Rs 1450 crore. The bank had reported a net profit of Rs 558 Cr in 09 and was awarded the national award for catering to small and medium enterprise, last year.

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