Maharashtra govt aims to equip all 5.58 lakh ration shops for cashless transactions by placing micro ATMs and it has enlisted the help of the largest urban cooperative bank in the country-Mumbai headquartered Saraswat Bank.
To begin with, the govt intends to first digitalize 51,000 fair price shops and has appointed Saraswat Bank as business correspondents (BCs).
Saraswat Bank has been allocated Sangli, Pune, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, Akola, Nagpur, Jalgaon, Solapur, Ratnagiri and Nashik districts. It would enable a range of banking transactions and Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) for customers of all banks, said a Bank official.
Axis Bank, IDFC are other two banks enlisted for the job along with Saraswat Bank.
Being one of the few urban cooperative banks which supported the demonetization bid of the govt, Saraswat Bank plunged itself headlong into digitalization in the aftermath of demonetization. It has moved since a long way in the journey of cashless India.
It was in this backdrop that the state govt has decided to seek its help in digitalization of fair-shops in remote areas, said a cooperator connected with Saraswat Bank, said a Bank functionary.