The Reserve Bank of India has recently requested that the country’s commercial banks scale their services so as to reach 72,000 villages with a population of over 2,000 people by 2012. The RBI has asked the banks to open new branches that will serve large portions of the unbanked population in rural and remote parts of India. Agartala, Feb 6 (IANS) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all the commercial banks to take banking services, in any form, to 72,000 uncovered villages in India by 2012, a top bank official said here Sunday.

‘Keeping with the RBI directives, the banks have been engaging retired bank officials, locals and societies as business correspondents (BC) and setting up branches to extend the banking services to unbanked rural and remote areas having population of 2,000,’ United Bank of India (UBI) chairman-cum-managing director Bhaskar Sen told reporters.

According to Sen, introduction of core banking solutions (CBS), internet banking, mobile banking, online payment, transaction and business are some of the latest technologies being used in the Indian banking sectors.

UBI is the sponsored bank of Tripura Gramin Bank and the Manipur Gramin Bank, two of among India’s 82 Regional Rural Banks.

Sen said that UBI has already got the licenses from the RBI to set up 53 new branches and out of these, seven branches would be set up in northeast India. Currently, the bank has 264 branches in different northeastern states.

The UBI has made information and communication technology (ICT) based financial inclusion plan to extend banking services in 1,880 unbanked villages having population of over 2,000 covering 12 states and a union territory by March 2012.

‘The UBI has also decided to extend its services to 2,500 more unbanked villages having population little below 2,000 through the ICT based business correspondents model by March next year,’ Sen said.