SYANGJA, March 30: Nepal Rastra Bank has publicized a directive, asking commercial banks to establish their branches in each local unit by mid-July.
As per Section 79 of the Nepal Rastra Bank Act 2002, there should be a branch of at least one commercial bank in each local unit.
In a few months, there will be 'A' class banks in one municipality and all six rural municipalities of Syangja. As per the directive of NRB, the branch of Mega Bank in Bheerkot Municipality, Prime Commercial Bank (PCB) in Fedikhola Rural Municipality, NIC Asia in Andhikhola Rural Municipality, Rastriya Banijya Bank in Arjunchaupari Rural Municipality, Kumari Bank in Harinas Rural Municipality and PCB in Kaligandaki Rural Municipality will be established.
NRB has warned of taking action against the commercial banks if they do not establish their branches in the remaining 369 local units of Nepal by mid- July, according to Narayan Poudel, spokesperson and acting chief of NRB. "The banks have already assured us to implement the decision," said Poudel, adding, "If banks refuse to go to the directed places, they will be punished under the NRB Act 2002.
Dipendra Sharma, regional chief of NIC Asia (Gandaki and Dhaulagiri) assured that the decision of NRB will be implemented within the given time frame. "We have already made a field visit," said Sharma, adding, "We have also moved forward the process to establish our branch in Andhikhola Rural Municipality after discussions with the stakeholders."
Sudhir Kumar Poudel, chairperson of Andhikhola Rural Municipality, stated that the local unit is ready to provide any kind of help to welcome the financial institutions. "Earlier, banks refused to open their branches in the remote areas. As they have finally agreed to do so, we are ready to offer personal and institutional help," said Chairperson Poudel.
Meanwhile, Ghanshyam Subedi, chairperson of Fedikhola Rural Municipality, said that various banks have approached him for unofficial discussions. Likewise, Mega Bank has even selected a building for operating its branch in Bheerkot Municipality. On the other hand, the chairperson of Kaligandaki Rural Municipality seemed unaware about the name of the bank to be established there.