By Pravin Prashant
New Delhi: Improving the credit-deposit (CD) ratio by exploiting the fisheries, agriculture and tourism sectors on a priority basis, apart from other segments, can perk up the outreach of the banks and their services in Lakshadweep.
According to a report of the Working Group on Improvement of Banking Services in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep released by the Reserve Bank of India, there was vast scope for expansion of banking facilities in the Lakshadweep.
The report has recommended a fairly good number of measures for development of banking services to contribute for the economic development of the Union Territory.
The Working Group headed by Regional Director of the Reserve Bank of India of Kerala and Lakshadweep S Ramaswamy was constituted to draw up an action plan for enhancing banking facilities and outreach in the Lakshadweep.
The report said periodical meetings with all stakeholders, opening more branches of banks, imparting financial education for opening up new accounts, air lifting of currency and coins from across the island, e-banking, quick settlement of intra-bank instruments besides promoting self help groups (SHGs) by involving NGOs covering all farmers under KCC should be thrust areas for improving banking services in the Lakshadweep.
The committee also recommended for providing adequate working capital for the traditional fishermen engaged in the Skipjack-Masmin sector, focused approach by NABARD for developing infrastructure especially under RIDF schemes and SIDBI expanding the outreach and penetration of credit services for development of environment friendly industries.
Once the economic activities take off, there would be enough scope for expansion of banking services in the islands. Banking sector would be able to significantly contribute to the economic development of the area, the report contended.Â Â
Lakshadweep, the island territory holds good potential for tourism, export market for Tuna fishes, and production of coconut and coir based products.
All this hold good opportunities for expansion of banking facilities in terms of reach and penetration thereby contributing to the development of the area.