Odisha asks banks to improve cash availability in cyclone affected areas

first_imgOdisha government has asked banks to improve cash availability to enable people in cyclone-affected districts to buy essential items.“Mobile ATMs have been sent to Puri by the State Cooperative Bank and SBI. Now seven mobile ATMs are functioning in Puri,” said Chief Secretary A. P. Padhi, after chairing a Special State Level Bankers Committee meeting here on Friday. “SBI will send 10 more ATMs. Cash availability is not a problem in the State.” Digital payment and cash withdrawal from ATMs were affected as power had not been restored in many areas ever since cyclone Fani hit Odisha on May 3. People were seen standing in long queues in front of the rare functional ATM counters in Bhubaneswar. Unavailability of cash had forced students to go back to their villages. Wage payment to daily labourers was affected.The Odisha government’s decision to hand out ₹2000 in cash as part of the Chief Minister’s package has proved to be of great help.The special State Level Banker’s Committee discussed the measures banks and insurance companies must take in cyclone affected areas. The SLBC resolved that existing loans would be rescheduled and fresh loans would be extended.“The loans may be rescheduled keeping in view the lower cash flow to SHGs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Bankers would provide all assistance to bail out the tourism industry in Puri. Insurance companies would also relax the document requirements, simplify the process and expedite payment of claims,” it was resolved in the SLBC. The Chief Secretary urged the banks to operationalise all their branches in Puri by Monday. Banking has been largely unaffected in all affected districts except Puri.last_img

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