Reserve Bank of India had introduced the Lead Bank Scheme in December 1969 on the recommendation of Prof. Gadgil Study Group on “Organizational Framework for implementation of Social Objectives” consequent to which RBI constituted Committee of Bankers headed by Sh.F.K.P.Nariman which recommended “Area Approach” and allotment of districts to the commercial banks for development to achieve objectives of national plans The following two recommendations made were also accepted by Reserve Bank of India:
1. In the first phase, the scheme aimed at identifying potential centres for bank operation and opening of branches in the district to strengthen banking infrastructure.
2. The second phase aimed at preparing District Credit Plans for specific area development.
Lead Bank Scheme is aimed at achieving the national plan objectives viz., (i) Removal of unemployment and under-employment; (ii) Appreciable rise in the standard of living of the poorest sections of the population; and (iii) Provision of some of the basic needs of the people belonging to the poorer sections. To achieve these goals, District Credit Plans are prepared under Lead Bank Scheme to focus on:
3. Increasing productivity, production and employment opportunities in different sectors in rural areas, especially among weaker sections, to enable them to move above the poverty line.
4. Promoting balanced development of different districts/ blocks within the districts.
To achieve these goals, there would be need to lay more stress on promoting optimum use of land, labour and financial resources for promoting productivity and production. It is also necessary to further improve the co-ordination arrangements between Government development programmes and bank lending and promote availability of institutional credit assistance.
The SLBC has been constituted in April, 1977, as an apex inter- institutional forum to create adequate coordination machinery in all States, on a uniform basis for development of State. SLBC is chaired by the Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of the Convener bank/ Executive Director of the Convenor bank. It comprises representatives of Commercial banks, RRBs State Co-operative Banks, RBI, NABARD, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Govt.of India, heads of Government Departments including representative from National Commission for Scheduled Castes/Tribes, National Horticulture Board, Khadi & Village Industries Commission etc., representatives of Financial Institutions operating in the state, different departments of State Government, who come together and sort our coordination problems at the policy implementation level. Representatives of various organizations are special invitees in SLBC meetings for discussing their specific problems, if any.
The SLBC meeting is held on quarterly basis. The responsibility of convening the meeting of the SLBC would be that of the SLBC Convenor bank of the State.
SLBC Odisha was constituted to act as a consultative/coordination body for all financial institution of the state. Initially the SLBC responsibility was entrusted to SBI which was reallocated to UCO Bank during 1982. Since then UCO Bank is acting as Convenor of SLBC. High level participation in SLBC meetings ensures an effective and desired outcome with meaningful discussion on issues of Public Policy of Government of India, RBI and Govt.of Odisha. In Odisha SLBC Meetings are held regularly at quarterly interval. SLBC is chaired by the Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) or Executive Director of UCO Bank, Convenor bank and Co-chaired by the Chief Secretary or Development Commissioner or Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department of Govt.of Odisha.
The Chief Minister / Finance Minister and Senior Level officers of the State/RBI (Deputy Governor) may be invited to attend the SLBC meeting.
SLBC constitutes Steering Sub Committee/Sub-Committees for specific tasks like Agriculture, MSME, Handloom Finance, Export Promotion, SHG finance, RSETI Financial Inclusion, Financial Literacy etc. The sub committees may examine the specific issues in-depth and advise solutions/recommendations for adoption by the full committee.
To improve the effectiveness and streamlining the functioning of SLBC meetings, a yearly calendar of programme (calendar year basis) in the beginnings of the year itself is prepared for conducting the meetings.