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State Backs Grameen Bank

Bhubaneswar: Department of Finance has requested all the Administrative Departments to channelize Government deposits through Utkal Grameen Bank (UGB).

The shareholders of the UGB are Government of India holds 50 Percent,  State Bank of India 35 Percent and Government of Odisha 15 Percent.

Due to previous orders issued on Government deposits on Banks, many State-run organizations have removed funds from the UGB and deposited them in other nationalized banks.  

As a result, the bank has suffered a huge negative growth. So, the Director of Institutional Finance, Siddhartha Das has requested ACS, Principal Secretary and Secretaries of various departments to move government deposits through the rural bank.    

The Utkal Grameen Bank (UGB) is operating in 17 districts of Odisha, in Western and Southern parts of the State. It has 435 branches, out of which 365 branches are functioning in rural area, catering to the needs of farming community, rural artisans and others including small entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups and small business enterprises.

In the recent past, withdrawal of Government deposits from the Branches of the Bank has resulted in a negative growth of Rs 200 crore as on October 31, 2021 over March, 2021 and the Bank is struggling to get deposits from the public, Das said.

“In view of the above, you are requested to advise the State PSUs and State Level Autonomous Societies (SLASs) under your control to allow Utkal Grameen Bank to handle the business and deposits of SPSUs and SLASs as State Government owns 15% of the share of this Bank,” he said in a communication to the departments.

The Finance Department has also urged the secretaries to ask concern DDOs, to recover loan avail by Government employees from the Odisha Gramya Bank to return it back on time.

Odisha Gramya Bank has sanctioned clean loans of Rs 62.77 crore in 4276 accounts under repairs to House Building damaged by natural calamities to Government employees from time to time on the basis of irrevocable undertakings from the concerned DDOs to recover the monthly loan installments from the salary of the employees availing loan, Das said.

But due to non-payment of the EMIs, the loan accounts have become NPA despite the repeated follow-up by the OGB staffs with the DDOs and employees, he said.

Non recoveries of loan is adversely affecting the Bank’s credit portfolio, which would have been utilized further for onward lending to rural sections of the society through priority sector schemes announced by Government of Odisha.

“As State Government owns 15% of the share of OGB, it is requested to advise the concerned DDOs under your control to resolve the matter with the employees who have taken loan and to assist the bank for recovery of loans sanctioned to the employees of State Government departments/ undertakings,” the Director said.

The shareholders of the OGB are also Government of India (50%), State Bank of India (35%) and Government of Odisha (15%).  The bank is operating in 13 districts and it has 549 branches including 465 branches in rural areas.