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Punjab National Bank (PNB) has been adjudged the “best public sector bank” in the country for its outstanding performance in the field of agriculture credit, micro finance, financial inclusion and technology adoption.

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The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) honoured PNB for its remarkable contribution to rural customers with a “special commemorative award”.

Speaking on the occasion, CH SS Mallikarjuna Rao, MD & CEO at PNB, said: “Despite the impact of the pandemic, PNB has been at the forefront of developing India’s agriculture and MSME sectors. Last year, the bank ran the village contact programme, a campaign that covered more than 30,000 villages across the country, thereby identifying significant opportunities in agriculture and MSME credit. Further, the bank improved access to social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojna, Suraksha Beema Yojna and Atal Pension Yojna.”

“One of the campaign objectives was to enhance digitization to the last mile for financial inclusion, such as issuance of debit cards and bringing rural communities under the PNB One Mobile App, which has yielded great results. However, more work will be done in the coming months. Thus, this recognition will go a long way in motivating our entire workforce in the rural lending segment, which is critical for the country’s GDP growth,” Rao added.

Celebrating the 40th foundation day, NABARD announced the awards on the sidelines of a webinar on “Resilience of Indian agriculture amid pandemic”, a press release from PNB said.

The programme was attended by Union minister of agriculture and farmers welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy V Subramanian and NABARD chairman GR Chinthala.

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