Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh addresses dearth of communication and banking in rural tribal belts at 11th Inter-State Council meeting

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief minister Raman Singh at an Inter-State Council meeting at New Delhi on Sunday expressed the need to make special arrangements to augment banking and communication services in remote areas particularly the tribal belts of the State.

Singh was speaking at the 11th meeting of the Inter-State Council to discuss the States’ suggestions on the recommendation of the Punchhi commission, an official press release said.

The Centre had constituted a commission under the chairmanship of Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi, former Chief Justice of India in 2007, to look into new issues of Centre-State relations keeping in view the changes that have taken place in the polity and economy of India.

The meeting was chaired by union home minister Rajnath Singh. Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar and ministers representing other States were present.

Deliberating on financial matters, the Chhattisgarh CM said that the banking coverage in Bastar region is barely 10 per cent and only 15 per cent in Sarguja (north Chhattisgarh).

“Commercial banks hesitate to open their branches in these areas. There is a need to make special provisions to encourage private and commercial banks to enhance their working branches in remote areas,” Raman Singh said.

Both the finance and home ministers expressed their willingness to execute the suggestions, the release stated.

Singh further stated that private telecom companies do not give priority to expand and develop communication networks across tribal areas. He further sought to restart the central assistance funds for the eight Naxal-affected districts of Chhattisgarh.

Chief secretary Vivek Dhand and additional chief secretary N Baijendra Kumar were also present at the meeting.