Instruct Banks & Insurance Cos To Take Apt Steps For Cyclone-Hit Odisha Dists: Dharmendra Urges Jaitley

Bhubaneswar: After reviewing the preparedness of the banking sector in providing services to the customers in the ‘FANI’ affected areas of Odisha, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today urged Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to instruct banks and insurance companies to undertake measures for the economical revival of the cyclone affected districts of Odisha.

In his letter written today, the Union Petroleum Minister has mentioned, “During the course of deliberations, the following issues emerged for consideration: SBI is presently dispensing cash upto Rs 2,000 on the production of bank passbook. I have urged all other banks to follow this as a uniform model in constultation with the RBI.”

“I have also advised banks to activate the Banking Correspondents (BCs) and Common Service Centre (CSCs) and ensure delivery of cash through the Point of Sale (POS) devices. I have urged them to significantly increase mobile ATMs in the districts,” he has added.

He has also mentioned, “I have advised banks and RBI to set up a Control Room, so as to monitor the situation which will help in resolving issues in a coordinated manner. RBI/Banks have agreed to the suggestion. Extensive damage has been caused to the economy of Puri district. Tourism, which is the mainstay of the district, has completely collapsed. Presently, the hotel infrastructure is in dire need of financial hand holding. It is imperative that the hospitality industry is revived so as to restore livelihood of people and benefit tourists/pilgrims. Similarly, extensive damage has also occurred in other cyclone affected districts.”

The Union Petroleum Minister has suggested, “Create a special scheme with beneficial interest rates for helping the hotel industry rebuild the damaged infrastructure in the cyclone affected districts. For other loanees, it will be helpful to re-structure the existing loan component. Productive sectors like poultry, fishing, agriculture and animal husbandry have also been badly damaged and will require adequate financial support at benevolent rates for revival in cyclone affected districts.”

“It is also important to expeditiously settle the insurance claims of the claimants in all the cyclone affected districts, whose property has been extensively damaged, to provide a fillip for reviving the economy,” he has further suggested before the Union Finance Minister for consideration. 


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