Guwahati, Wednesday, June 16, 2010
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SBI to open 60 new branches in NE
Surajit khaund
 GUWAHATI, June 15 – To reach out to the rural masses, State Bank of India (SBI) will open 60 more branches and recruit nearly 3,500 business correspondents in the North East. It will also start kiosk banking system within this month.

 “We will recruit 1,500 business correspondents alone in Assam. They ( business correspondents) will help the rural people in opening accounts and other financial transactions. With the help of new business correspondents, the bank is planning to cover 3000 unbanked villages,” RK Garg, Chief General Manager (CGM) of SBI, North Eastern Circle, told this correspondent today. He further informed that SBI would start kiosk banking system soon. “Kiosk banking is aimed at covering more and more people. Moreover, we are going to open 60 new ATMs, particularly for the rural areas in the State,” Garg informed while sharing his future plan with this correspondent.

SBI has so far 525 branches scattered in the region and the total volume of business now stands at Rs 48,052 crore.

Buoyed by the growth of the bank, he said that SBI is now targeting over Rs 50,000 crore business in the region. “The response from the people has been very positive over the years and therefore, we are targeting more growth in the region,” he added.

Asked about the target for agriculture sector, the newly appointed CGM revealed that SBI would pump in nearly Rs 1000 crore in the agriculture sector during the current financial year. “We are also planning to disburse nearly Rs 900 crore loan for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the current fiscal. Food processing sector is another area in which the bank will accord top priority,” Garg said, adding that the SBI is ready to extend all possible help to set up hydel power projects in the region.

It may be recalled that last year SBI had recruited nearly 700 staff, but considering the growing volume of business it will recruit 1,100 staff this year.

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