Meghalaya has adopted business correspondence model in association with the largest lender of the country, State Bank of India. It is the first north eastern state to have adopted the model to aid in wage disbursal under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The state government and SBI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard. As per the agreement, SBI will appoint business correspondents (BC) to facilitate customers in remote areas of the state.
As per this model, the government will directly deposit the wages in personal accounts of workers. So places where bank branches are available will operate as always and in other areas which do not have access to bank branches, BCs will disburse wages to workers.
The increasing number of complaints regarding misutilisation of funds led to the government adopting this model. "With the new bank model, of depositing money directly in the accounts of the beneficiaries, we hope that there will be more transparency and accountability in the implementation of the scheme," said F. Kharlyngdoh, the secretary of community and rural development department.
The deputy general manager, State Bank of India, rural business, North Eastern circle, Tilak Das said that these BCs may be individuals, NGOs or groups.
"The business correspondents, appointed by the bank in lieu of its branches in the rural areas, will be provided with the latest technology, including cell phones and Internet facilities, so that all payments can be made through them," Das said.