The Central Government announced on Friday four important initiatives to strengthen 1,514 Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) in the country. To realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sahakar se Samridhi, these vital measures were notified after the detailed discussions held by Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah with Finance Minister  Nirmala Sitharaman and the RBI Governor. 

The measures which have been notified by the Reserve Bank of India include allowing the Urban Cooperative Banks to open new branches, permitting these banks for One Time Settlement at par with Commercial Banks, giving them two years more to meet the priority sector lending targets and designating a Nodal Officer in RBI.

The Ministry of Cooperation in a

statement said that UCBs can now open new branches up to 10 per cent of the number of branches in the previous financial year without prior approval of RBI in their approved area of operation. To avail this facility, UCBs have to get the policy approved by their board and comply with the Financially Sound and Well Managed Norms. 

The Ministry added that now co-operative banks through board-approved policies can provide process for technical write-off as well as settlement with borrowers. This has brought cooperative banks at par with other commercial banks now. It added that RBI has also decided to extend the timeline for Urban Co-operative Banks to achieve Priority Sector Lending targets by two years up to the 31st of March,2026. 

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