Madurai: Expressing happiness over the growth of the banking sector in the last ten years, Finance Minister P Chidambaram Monday described it as a great achievement of the UPA rule.
Participating in the '103rd Foundation Day Celebration' of the Central Bank of India here he said: "The very fact that people have accepted the growth of banking sector as a normal phenomenon is a success to me and the government."
The celebration function is being organised for the first time outside the metro cities.
He said the government had made great efforts to achieve this growth in the banking sector."The bank officials including the Executive Directors, Chairmen and the Employees also played a major role in the expansion of the banking sector."
"Now the country is having 1, 10, 000 branches, and every year 7000 to 8000 branches were opened in the last nine years and this year 10,000 branches will be opened. The central bank to commemorate its 103rd foundation day has opened 103 branches today and it will open a total of 231 branches this year," he said.
Besides bank branches that had been opened, banking service also had expanded at a fast pace. ATM facility, which was available in a few localities, is now available throughout the country, he said.
"Very few thousand students got education loans ten years ago. Now lakhs of students were availing the education loan. Crores of Self-Help groups were availing loans."This is how the banking service has expanded," he said.
Another outcome of expansion was provision of jobs, he said adding if ten banks were being opened this year, then thousands of persons would get bank jobs.
"The expansion benefited lakhs of people in various sectors and we are proud of that", he said.