SBI to increase business in Bengal

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Gangtok, Mar 23: With the small and medium sector emerging as the strongest growth area, State Bank of India expects a 25 per cent surge in deposits and 16 per cent increase in advances in the Bengal circle this fiscal. " The deposits will shoot up by Rs 7,500 crore at Rs 37,000 crore and advances will grow by Rs 4,000 crore at Rs 24,000 crore this year," Chief General Manager Jayanta Kumar Sinha said.

Talking to reporters, Mr Sinha said small and medium sector were the greatest contributor to the bank's overall business in Bengal circle, recording a growth of 25 per cent at Rs 10,000 crore from Rs 8,000 crore. " Our target for 2008-09 is 35 per cent increase in deposits and 25 per cent in advances with focus on SMEs, housing, agriculture and mid-corporate sectors," Mr Sinha said.

On the all-India scale, Bengal circle was now third in ranking in deposits climbing the ladder from fourth position while it improved position also in advances to sixth from eighth, he said. Giving a thrust on more business, the bank would open 100 more branches in Bengal circle by the next year, 13 by March 31 to take the total number to 904. It will also set up 138 ATMs in addition to the present 416 by September, 2008.

In reply to a question, the CGM said the bank was planning to introduce smart card in the Bengal Circle "may be in next month" following successful implementation of its pilot project in Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Karnataka.

He said while East Sikkim had already been brought under hundred per cent financial inclusion, the bank had plans to extend the facility also to South Sikkim and Nicober island by June 30, 2008.


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