Ranchi, Sept. 14: If State Bank of India (SBI) figures are anything to go by, the number of applications for loans in Jharkhand — across the sectors of home, education, vehicle and agriculture — is rising by the day.
Sample this: SBI branches in Jharkhand had cleared 22,939 applications in 2010-11 for home loans.
The figure swelled to 24,664 in 2011-12 and in the ongoing fiscal it jumped further, with 25,397 applications cleared till August (see box).
SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, who is in Jharkhand on a three-day trip, told The Telegraph the slump in the economy could be held responsible for the surge in loan applications.
“But as India’s largest bank with 480 branches in Jharkhand alone, SBI is poised to serve the state in a meaningful way. Providing loans is one such step,” said Chaudhuri.
He pointed out that SBI’s cash deposit ratio — the money a bank has in hand as a percentage of the total amount deposited by its customers — in Jharkhand is 61.3 per cent. The figure is almost 10 per cent more than the cumulative average of all the other banks, which stands at 51.5.
On steps taken by SBI for greater financial inclusion of the masses, particularly villagers, Chaudhuri pointed out that in the current fiscal, the bank has targeted to come up with 36 more branches in Jharkhand, besides scores of ultra small branches that would be manned by only one employee each.
Chaudhuri, who visited renowned consultants Mecon and Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (HEC) in Ranchi yesterday, added the bank would help the latter by way of providing term loans, which can be repaid in payments over a set time period, to purchase machinery to boost production.
“Talks with HEC management are on and we are contemplating to provide a term loan to the PSU, whose track record has been very good,” said Chaudhuri.
The SBI chairman said the bank had installed water purifiers in 500 schools and financed instalment of 10 fans each in as many schools in the state.
Chaudhuri also visited several branches and reviewed the bank’s performance in Jharkhand along with senior officials including chief general manager of Patna circle Jeevandas Narayan, general manager of Patna circle D. Mozumder, deputy general manager Praveena Kala and regional manager Sanjay Akhouri.