Provide customers clean toilets at branches: Govt to PSBs

The finance ministry today directed all public sector banks (PSBs) to provide customers access to clean toilets at branches and also dedicate CSR funds to give a boost to the 'Swachh Bharat Mission'.

The 21 PSBs have about 1.25 lakh branches across the country.

Besides, the ministry also asked six state-owned insurance companies to provide clean toilet facility to its customers at their branches.

"All branches of PSBs/Insurance Co. to provide access to clean toilets for customers; Also dedicate CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds to @swachhbharat in FY 18-19," Department of Financial Services (DFS) Secretary Rajiv Kumar said in a tweet.

The CSR is likely to infuse significant capital into sanitation initiatives across the country, according to an official statement.

The DFS and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will jointly institute Swachh Bank/Financial Institution Award. The selection will be through competition.

Meanwhile, secretaries of the Ministry Drinking Water & Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer and Kumar conducted a video conference with all PSU banks and public sector financial institutions to ramp up lending in rural sanitation sector.

Later in the statement, the drinking water and sanitation ministry said the credit institutions committed to strive for trebling the lending to households, SHGs, MSMEs and SMEs among others in the rural sanitation sector.

It was also decided to provide lending at affordable rates to promote sanitation in the rural areas as this would be part of priority sector lending.

Funding to households, self-help group and small and medium enterprises etc for rural sanitation would be covered under priority sector.

Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, the Swachh Bharat Mission is a massive movement that seeks to create a clean India.

Last month, the government informed Parliament that it built 5.61 crore toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission (rural).

Nearly 29.08 lakh toilets were constructed under the MGNREGA and seven states/UTs were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

The central government has allocated over Rs 33,700 crore under the Swachh Bharat scheme since its launch in 2014.

The government allocated Rs 2,850 crore, Rs 6,525 crore, Rs 10,513 crore and Rs 13,948.27 crore, respectively during 2013-14, 14-15, 15-16 and 16-17 towards the programme.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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