public sector banks to have ATMs at all their branches as part of its financial inclusion drive. Finance minister P Chidambaram said in his last Budget speech that "public sector banks have assured me that all their branches will have an ATM in place by March 31, 2014."
Such ATMs will facilitate the implementation of the government's ambitious direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme, wherein the government transferring the subsidies directly into bank accounts of the beneficiaries to avoid pilferage.
Initially launched in 25 districts early this year, the DBT scheme will be extended all over the country. But so far, all the PSU banks are running behind schedule. These banks, which are required to install onsite ATMs at 34,668 branches by March 31, had set up only 5,726 at the end of August. The rural areas have not been covered well so far.
At the end of March 2013, public sector banks had a combined 72,340 branches, of which 37,672 had onsite ATMs.
As per the monthly roll out plan, 1,114 ATMs were set up in August against a target of 2,959. By August end, State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, had 3,339 ATMs left to be installed in the current financial year. The bank has 15,000 branches in the country.
Bank of India has 2,586 ATMs to be set up and Allahabad Bank has to install 2,174 cash dispensing machines.