Centre to invest Rs 10,000 cr for SBI expansion: FM

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Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu), Mar 10: Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Centre would invest Rs 10,000 crore for the expansion of State Bank of India (SBI). Inaugurating SBI's 10,000th branch at Puduvayal Village in this district last evening, the Minister said the Centre had a 55 per cent stake in the bank and was keen on its development.

The bank had sought Rs 16,000 crore for expansion. However, the Centre had agreed to invest Rs 10,000 crore in the 202-year-old institution for further increasing its business volume. The SBI was the second bank in the world to have 10,000 branches, next only to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The bank's business volume stood at Rs nine lakh crore, which was Rs one lakh crore more than the country's Budget.

On the massive farm loan waiver announced the Union Budget, he said the decision will be implemented before June 30. The loan waiver was a major decision of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to end the nearly 60-year-old problems of the farming community.

The government had already started taking follow-up steps to implement the decision, he added. In his address, SBI Chairman O P Bhatt said the bank proposed to open 2,000 more branches in rural areas in the next two years to serve rural people.

SBI planned to make available banking services to one lakh villages by 2010, he said.


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