Unavailability of banks hits locals hard

Gaighat, February 9

Lack of government and private banks and financial institutions has hit the locals and government employees hard in some local levels in Udayapur.

As a result, locals and government employees are compelled to visit Gaighat, the district headquarters, to avail banking services.

Udayapur has four municipalities and many rural municipalities. One municipality and four rural municipalities do not have any bank and financial institution. A class commercial banks have opened their branches in Triyuga, Katari and Chaudhandi municipalities.

Locals of Tapli, Sunkoshi, Gadhi and Rauta Rural municipalities have opened their bank accounts in the nearest banks in other municipalities.

Triyuga Municipality Mayor Baldev Chaudhary said most of the banks had established their branches in urban areas. “While there are too many banks in urban areas, there is none in the rural areas,” added Mayor Chuadhary.

Chaudhary said banks should open their branches in rural areas. “Due to lack of banks, locals from rural areas have to walk to the district headquarters to avail of banking services,” added Mayor Chaudhary.

Rural municipalities without banks are worst hit as they have to maintain records of income and expenditure. Chaudhandi Municipality Mayor Durga Thapa said not a single bank had opened its branch in his municipality. “Lack of banking service in the municipality has created many difficulties for us,” he complained.

Mayor Thapa said banks were reluctant to open their branches in the rural areas, despite Nepal Rastra Bank’s directive asking banks to do so.

Staffer at the Udaypur branch of Rastriya Banijya Bank Lekh Bahadur KC said banks had not opened their branches in the village due to lack of security and necessary infrastructure. “Opening the branch in the village is not the solution. Banks want profit when they expand their branches,” he added.

Civil Bank Udayapur branch Chief Sanjaya Sigdel said that banks would open their branches in the rural areas if the government ensured them security.