Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has proposed opening around 800 new bank branches by 2016, mostly in the state's rural areas. The proposed development will take place under a comprehensive financial-inclusion plan, a senior official said.

Speaking at the state-level meeting of bankers convened by UCO Bank in Shimla, Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy said that 31 new branches were opened during the last quarter till March 2013, out of which, 25 are located in the rural areas.

At present, the state has a network of 1,666 bank branches and 861 ATMs. On issuance of Aadhar cards, Roy said that the state has attained 93 percent Aadhaar coverage. "We intend to achieve nearly hundred percent Aadhaar generation by September.

He said that under the implementation of Annual Credit Plan for 2012-13, the banks had provided loans of Rs 8,824 crore during last fiscal. "In this fiscal, the banks are aiming to lend Rs 11,548 crore by increasing financial outlay to around 24 percent, over the previous Annual Credit Plan," he said.

On loss of public and private property due to the recent rains and landslides, Roy said that the state has sought a financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore from the Central Government for relief and rehabilitation works.

(Agencies)

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