BHOPAL: Bank Sakhis or the women business correspondents, who handle low-transaction accounts in remote areas on behalf of banks, account for 6.32% of the total strength of business correspondents deployed in the state. This has been revealed in a report released by State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) on Tuesday.
As per SLBC figures, the committee has recommended increasing the number of women business correspondents across the state to improve banking services in allotted areas. The recommendation has been made to aid the women customers that account for over 53% of total Jan Dhan accounts holders in the state, said the report.
The number of Bank Sakhis against a total of 20,172 business correspondents reported by the banks is 1,275. The report has been released with the data curated till August 2021.
State Bank of India reports alarming figures with only two women business correspondents against 5,769 registered business correspondents.
India Bank has deployed one Bank Sakhi against 338 while Indian Overseas Bank and Punjab National Bank have zero women business correspondents.
The regional rural bank, Madhya Pradesh Gramin Bank, on the other hand, has deployed 446 Bank Sakhis, which is the highest number, against 2,695 business correspondents.
Adding to the recommendation of upping the Bank Sakhis, SLBC has asked the banks to consider imparting training to women self-help groups or local women under schemes of National Skill Development Corporation.
The Bank Sakhis can be provided with means to avail Mudra loans, to aid them setting up their businesses in their service areas. The SLBC has also suggested that the area of work of business correspondents can be expanded like updating KYC, passbook, issuance of debit card, cheque books etc.