Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today lamented that more than 45 percent of the villages in the entire state do not have access to banking facilities.
Stating that one of the very big challenges that Meghalaya has faced in the last many years has been the banking sector, he said, “To overcome these challenges in the last one year we have tied up with the Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank and come out with 100 business correspondents who will stay in the villages and be acting as a mini-bank in the villages.”
The government has also arrived at an understanding with State Bank of India to come up with another 100 business correspondents this financial year. It also plans to make 300 self-help groups, which are integrated village cooperatives, into business correspondents as well, with another 10 brick and mortar banks in remote and inaccessible places in the state. The government’s target, the CM said, is to bring the 45 percent figure down to 10 percent this year.
Further, stressing on the need to protect natural resources and to curb deforestation, he said, “The biodiversity and water resources are the strength of the state and, despite having the highest rainfall in the world, we are still facing difficulty in being able to give potable drinking water to many villages.”
Meghalaya will launch its Water Mission in the coming year, which will act as the base for the government to work towards natural resource management.
Meanwhile, Sangma also informed that the draft Youth Policy is almost ready and will be placed in the public domain in order to invite inputs from other stakeholders within weeks.