Dehra Dun: State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, on Tuesday reactivated its Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) scheme to provide loans to weaker sections as part of the financial inclusion programme.

Under the scheme, SBI provided loans to nearly 1,500 people to start entrepreneurial projects with the Uttarakhand government and urged other banks to come forward to launch similar schemes.

Loans ranging between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 would be disbursed under the DRI scheme, said SBI officials, adding that the interest rate would be 4 percent in this regard.

SBI has given the beneficiaries 16 months to repay the loans, they said.
The bank also launched a pilot mobile van for providing banking services in the remote areas of the state. It will be fitted with biometric cards and driven by business correspondents.

"Under the financial inclusion programme, this van will be stationed on the roadside of a village where people will be provided banking facilities through biometric cards," said Jyotish Ghildyal, Chief Manager of SBI here.

Principal Secretary Finance of the Uttarakhand government Alok Kumar Jain urged the banks to play vital role in providing true financial Independence in the country. Jain also exhorted the self-help groups and NGOs to come forward and take benefits of these programme.

Jain also complimented the SBI for launching the pilot mobile van and expressed hope that more such vans would be launched in all the remote areas of the state.