In a bid to ease the hassles of money transactions post scrapping of higher denomination notes, Odisha government decided to use gram panchayat offices across the state to provide banking services to people in unbanked regions.
The decision in this regard was taken at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “The panchayat offices can be used as the place for providing banking service in rural areas,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Informing that the Banking Correspondents (BCs) are appointed by different banks in non-banked and remote tribal areas, the state government said the people can deposit, exchange old currency notes at the panchayat offices.
Patnaik, who reviewed the situation in rural areas arising out of the demonetisation, asked the RBI and state government officials to ensure the people are not exploited by middlemen or put to inconvenience due to shortage of currency notes.
The state government has received reports that middlemen from neighbouring states are giving Rs 400 for exchange of old Rs 500 notes in tribal districts like Koraput, Kalahandi, Nuapada and other bordering districts.
Official sources said more than 4,200 out of 6,238 Gram Panchayats of Odisha do not have banking facilities.