Absence of banks hits Siraha local levels hard

Siraha, February 18

The absence of banks and financial institutions in most of the local levels in Siraha has affected financial transactions of local bodies and commoners alike.

Banking channels are not present in municipalities like Dhangadimai, Kalyanpur and Karjanha, and Bariyapati, Naraha, Aurahi, Arnama and Nabarajpur, among other rural municipalities. To carry out financial transactions, people from rural municipalities and municipalities are forced to visit major centres such as Lahan, Mirchaiya and Golbazaar.

Ward No 9 Chair Prakash Yonjan at Dhangadimai Municipality said carrying out financial transactions related to the local level was tedious. “Locals and municipality staffers had to walk several hours to carry out even minor banking transactions,” Yonjan complained.

Bariyapatti Rural Municipality Chief Santosh Mahato said a visit to the headquarters was the only way to carry out financial transactions for want of bank branches at the rural municipality. “A day has to be spared by both the offices and residents, just to deposit or cash a single cheque,” Mahato added.

Employees at the rural municipality said that disbursement of employees’ salary, besides social security allowance and other payments was often delayed due to lack of a financial institution in the rural municipality. Service seekers have also been affected by frequent visits made by peopleand employees to district headquarters to carry out financial transactions.

The government has provisioned to make all sorts of payments, including elderly allowance and pension through banking channels.

The government had directed banks to open their branches at every local level last year. However, branches at many local levels are yet to be set up due to security concerns, lack of infrastructure and other reasons, say the stakeholders concerned.