10 crore customer base by 2010: PNB

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New Delhi, Sep 17: Aimed at enhancing customer base to 10 crore by 2010, Punjab National Bank CMD K C Chakrabarty has annouced a major plan of achieving financial inclusion with thrust being given to the Indo-Gangetic belt where the public sector institution has a dominant presence.

Launching a pilot project of financial inclusion in Delhi circle, Mr Chakrabarty said several steps have already been taken in this regard, but a more ambitious project is on the anvil. For instance, the second largest public sector bank has already issued 100 per cent financial inclusion in more than 11,000 villages covering 198 identified districts.

Under the new plan, the Bank has targeted to cover 30,000 villages by 2010 by making use of 'Business Facilitators' and 'Business Correspondents.' The financial inclusion pilot project was launched with great fanfare at the Azadpur Mandi, the country's wholesale trade for fruits and vegetables.

Among those who were present on the occasion included Delhi Minister for Industry, Labour and Employment Mangat Ram Singhal and top executives of the Bank.

The Minister lauded the efforts of the Bank reaching out to the man on the street and offered all support of the Government of Delhi in facilitating this.

As part of launch, Mr Chakrabarty said 'No Frill Accounts' for labourers will be opened.

By engaging the technological solution provider -- FINO-- the Bank will be issuing biometric enabled multi-application smart card to the labour community. The cards, which are foolproof IDs for the customers, contain customer's demographic data, relationships and his fingerprints.

PNB General Manager (Delhi Circle) R K dubey said the Bank has very strong foothold in the national capital wih a customer base of 35 lakhs.

To give financial assistance to the urban poor, the bank has recently opened over 67,000 'No Frill Accounts' under its finacial inclusion initiative at various locations in Delhi.

The Bank has also been financing the poorest section of the society under 'The DRI Scheme' and 'Scheme for Scavengers'.

UNI

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