State 5 becomes first to have banks at all local units

By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, July 3: State-5 has become the first among all seven provinces to have at least a branch of a commercial bank at every local level. 

The central bank had set a mandatory provision to commercial banks to expand their branches at every local level. The government has targeted to make the presence of at least a commercial bank in each local body by the end of the current fiscal year.
All 109 local units of the State-5 have now received banking facilities of the commercial banks.
There are 753 local levels across the country, and 23 of them of six states still have no access to commercial banks.
Only 69 local levels of Karnali State have access to commercial banks whereas 82 local levels in Sudur Paschim have commercial banks.
Karnali State has 79 local levels and Sudurpaschim 88. Out of 23 local units which are yet to have bank branches, one unit (Mikkhakhola Rural Municipality) in State Number 1, two units each in State Number 2, State Number 3 and Gandaki State.bank
The State Number-1 has 137 local units, State -2 has 136, State-3 has 119, Gandaki 85, Karnali 79 and Sudurpachhim State has 88 local units.
According to spokesman at NRB Laxmi Prapanna Niroula, branch extension of the banks and financial institutions has been growing significantly for the last one year, indicating that economic activities in the rural areas are also increasing.
He expressed his hope that access of the commercial banks would reach all local units at the earliest.
“We are aggressively opening bank branches in the 23 local levels, following a direction from the central bank.
Due to lack of infrastructure like roads, electricity and Internet, the commercial banks have been unable to extend their services in those remote local units, he said. The total number of BFIs licensed by NRB increased to 176 in mid-May 2019 from 151 in mid-July 2018. As of mid-May 2019, 28 commercial banks, 32 development banks, 24 finance companies, 91 microfinance financial institutions and one infrastructure development bank are in operation, according to the NRB report.
The number of BFIs branches reached 8,319 in mid-May 2019 from 6,651 in mid-July 2018
The total number of BFIs licensed by the NRB increased to 176 in mid-May 2019 from 151 in mid-July 2018. As of mid-May 2019, 28 commercial banks, 32 development banks, 24 finance companies, 91 microfinance financial institutions and one infrastructure development bank are in operation.
The number of BFIs branches reached 8,319 in mid-May 2019 from 6,651 in mid-July 2018. Expansion of the branches of the banks and financial institutions was very encouraging over a year, he said, adding that increasing expansion of the BFIs branches showed that economic activities are growing in the rural areas which ultimately supported for the economic growth of the country.
The growing access to finance has resulted in the increased saving, he said, adding accounts including saving, fixed and current have crossed 20 million.
“The tendency to open loan account is very low. Only 1.42 million loan account opened at the BFIs which were not satisfactory,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Agricultural Development Bank (ADBL) Anil Kumar Upadhyay said that the ADBL has almost completed its target to expand its branches as per the provision of NRB.
He said that local people were encouraged after the presence of the commercial bank and an increase in the banking transactions. 

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