Despite the Covid-induced economic slowdown, the Tripura Gramin Bank (TGB) has become the first among the 43 Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in India to post profit for 21 years in a row, after it reported a net profit of Rs 200 crore in the last fiscal (2020-21), doing business of over Rs 10,273 crore, a top bank official said.
The TGB under the Punjab National Bank (earlier United Bank of India) registered a net growth of 26.70 per cent against a net profit of Rs 157.87 crore in the 2019-20 financial year, when it did business of Rs 9,936.13 crore.
With 50 per cent undertaking by the government of India, 35 per cent by PNB and 15 per cent by the Tripura government, the bank also didn’t report any Non-Performing Asset (NPA) in the previous fiscal (2021-22) and so far in this financial year as well.
TGB Chairman Mahendra Mohan Goswami said that the bank would have made more profit and business had there been no Covid-induced situation and related economic recession.
He said that the bank started its journey 45 years ago with a loss of Rs 3,550.47 and started making profit since 2000-01, wiping out the entire accumulated loss of Rs 139.40 crore in FY 2012-13.
With 148 full-fledged branches and 13 ultra small branches in rural areas, the total business of TGB grew by 3.40 per cent in 2020-21 from Rs 9936.14 crore in 2019-20.
“Andhra Pradesh’s 15-year-old Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank, sponsored by Canara Bank, and the TGB are the leading RRBs among the country’s 43 RRBs in terms of profit and business,” Goswami told IANS.
He said that as the TGB has been operating in the rural areas and there is no big industry in Tripura, the credit-deposit-ratio (CD ratio) of the bank is 35.72 per cent against the 54 per cent CD ratio of nationalised banks in Tripura.
The official, accompanied by bank’s General Manager Shishir Kumar Rohotgi, said that though the CD ratio of the bank has been reduced from 60.18 per cent in 1976 to 35.72 per cent in the last fiscal, the deposits of the bank have increased from Rs 2,82,021 to Rs 7,569.57 crore in 45 years.
Goswami said that till March 31, the per employee business stood at Rs 12.28 crore, which is much higher than the PSU banks, adding that his bank is now well capitalised among the 43 RRBs operating in the country.
“To encourage entrepreneurship among the rural youth and avoid the guarantor system in getting loans from the bank, the Gramin Bank has started forming joint liability groups (JLGs), and so far around 3,873 such groups have been formed involving over 16,000 people,” Goswami said.
According to a report by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Tripura Gramin Bank may continue to be sustainably viable without any further recapitalisation.
“The lives of common men have been severely impacted by the pandemic with business units and agri related activities taking a severe beating. Tripura Gramin Bank in its endeavour to serve the people of the state came out with four loan schemes to provide relief to the Covid-hit people along with keen participation in Aatmanirbhar Bharat schemes,” Goswami said.
The bank, which covers over 75 per cent of Tripura’s population, mostly in the rural and interior areas, has hundreds of Aadhaar-enabled micro ATMs.
The TGB has been implementing all flagship programmes of the Central government, including the PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Kisan Credit Card, Mudra Loan etc.
To support self-employment and self-help groups, the bank provides advances in dairy, piggery, poultry, fishery and many other small trades and businesses.
The 43 RRBs are operating with a network of around 21,800 branches covering 685 districts in 26 states.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)