CM Naveen Launches Historic ‘AMA Bank’ Scheme to Provide Banking Services in All GPs 

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday launched a historic and path-breaking scheme named “AMA Bank” for providing banking services through CSP Plus banking outlets in all unbanked Gram Panchayats of the State.

Financial inclusion is the foundational premise of social and economic progress and empowerment of people. No country or state can ever attain inclusive growth without achieving financial inclusion for its people. Reaching out to the people at the bottom of the pyramid and delivery of public services to the last mile in a fair and transparent manner, has been one of the highest priority agenda of Government.

However, financial inclusion has remained a challenge as the geographical penetration of banks in the state has been rather dismal. About 65% of our gram panchayats do not have a brick and mortar bank branch, leading to severe challenges and difficulties in accessing banking services and availability of Direct Benefit Transfer for a majority of our people in rural Odisha. The rate at which brick & mortar branches have been set up in the State over the last 5 years, it would take us more than 30 years to provide a brick & mortar branch in every unbanked GP.

Therefore, Government of Odisha in collaboration with 6 public sector banks namely SBI, PNB, UBI, UCO Bank, Bank of India and Bank of Baroda has come up with an ambitious and people centric scheme named “Ama Bank” for providing banking services through CSP Plus banking outlets to every unbanked GP.

Ama Bank is a low cost brick and mortar micro bank branch which sits between a BC and a small bank branch and will provide all necessary banking services like deposits, advances, remittances, Loans, Aadhar Enabled Payment System, credit linkage to SHGs, coverage under social security schemes etc.

Besides, Senior citizens, differently abled people and pregnant women will get door step banking services and avail Direct Benefit Transfer in a timely and hassle freemanner.The poor rural people in Odisha will not have to travel long distances to avail the benefits under several of our schemes, particularly Old Age Pension (OAP), KALIA and MAMTA etc or to apply for a small business loan. This will be truly inclusive and empowering for the people of theState.

The scheme will be implemented in a phased manner to cover all 4373 unbanked GPs of the State within the current financial year 2023-24. Government of Odisha is providing rent free banking space for 5 years. The State Government will also bear one-time expenses for Fixed Cost & Recurring expenses for a period of three years. A provision of Rs. 500 Cr. has been made for this scheme.

Today, in the first phase, 750 CSP Plus outlets covering all 30 districts were dedicated to the people of Odisha. Odisha is the first state in the entire country to conceptualise and implement such a holistic scheme for Financial Inclusion.

The CM opined that the CSP Plus model innovated by Odisha will become a model for the rest of the country.

No country or state can ever attain inclusive growth without achieving financial inclusion for its people, the CM said.

Participating in the programme, Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said that due to the strong leadership of the Chief Minister, Odisha has brought transformation in the financial sector today.

Speaking on the occasion, 5T and Nabin Odisha Chairman VK Pandian said that it would have taken 30 years to reach all the Panchayats at the pace at which the work is being done to bring banking services to the Panchayats that do not have bank facilities. But due to the Chief Minister’s vision for financial empowerment of the people, today it is possible in just six months. This is transformation, he said.

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