S. Karuppasamy, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said that the State governments had been asked to follow Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) method for all its financial transactions so as to being more number of people into the financial inclusion programme.

Launching the RBI's outreach programme at Mookaiyur near Sayalkudi on Saturday, he said that they should send all kinds of payments such as salary, perks, subsidies and others to the people including employees, beneficiaries and others through banks. If they credited the payments, the banks in turn would credit them in their respective bank accounts of customers directly. It would slowly and steadily increase the opening of new accounts by people, including those in rural areas. It would help the RBI's policy of bringing more people under the banking network.

Mr. Karuppasamy said that the RBI wanted to connect every Indian to the country's banking system. It was taking several steps to extend the banking network to all citizens by 2013. Though the RBI had not formulated unitary programmes for the banks to implement the financial inclusion programme, they had been asked to select a business model based on their business capacity and infrastructure. It had been decided that all villages with a population of 2000 and above should be brought under the banking network by March 2012.

Though the country was clocking a fast growth rate, the inclusive rate of growth was not on the expected lines. More than 50 percent of the country's population did not not have bank accounts. Out of 6 lakh villages, just 30,000 had been provided with banking services — mere five percent of total villages in the country. Expanding the financial services to all villages in the country was one of the biggest challenges posed by the banking section.

Mr. Karuppasamy said that as part of financial inclusion programme, the RBI had been conducting sensitisation programmes and outreach activities to promote financial inclusion and financial literacy among the rural people. The technological revolution would be highly useful to the banks to connect all people under the banking network. Linkage could be created between the banks and customers through business correspondents. Customers could be provided with smart cards, which contained all information about them. Hand-based instruments, mobiles, and automated teller machines should be utilised to provide banking services to the rural people, he added.

Nupur Mitra, Executive Director, Indian Overseas Bank, A.K. Jagannathan, Managing Director, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank, S. Ganesh, Banking Ombudsman for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, V. Arun Roy, Collector, R. Narayan, Chief General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), N.S. Vishwanathan, Regional Director, RBI, Chennai, and others spoke.

Keywords: RBI

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