Enhance coverage of SCs in schemes: FM to PSU banks | India News

NEW DELHI: As part of a focus on scheduled caste community, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked state-run banks to fill up vacancies, maintain records of outsourced jobs, such as those of safai karmcharis or sanitation workers and enhance the coverage of SCs under all schemes.
During a meeting, bank chiefs were advised to also look into the needs of the community for capacity building, entrepreneurship development as SCs constitute around 18% of the total workforce of the banks and FIs, the finance ministry said in a statement.
Banks were told that there should be forward and backward linkages through convergence of various government schemes while providing financial assistance.
Besides, officials in the finance ministry were asked to look at possible improvement in venture capital funding and credit guarantees based on consultations with agencies such as the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI).
The meeting, which comes ahead of crucial state polls, was meant to sensitise banks about the need to focus on the community and bring them into the mainstream economic activity. Banks have been asked to appraise the National Commission for SCs twice a year and also update on the progress in recruitment and credit flow.
While there is a reservation for scheduled castes in government and public sector jobs, several sectors have a long vacancy list. In fact, filling up vacancies in banks is a major focus area for the government ahead of the 2024 general elections and public sector lenders have been asked by the finance ministry to provide a monthly recruitment plan. A large number of vacancies are seen in the clerical grade.
At the meeting, grievance redressal of the SC community was also identified as a thrust area, the finance ministry said with a drive proposed by the department of financial services from October 2.

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