With the direct cash transfer being implemented in place of subsidy in the district from January 1, 2013, authorities are on an overdrive to ensure cent per cent financial inclusion with focus on rural areas.
The scheme, as announced by the Union government, will be launched as a pilot project in 51 districts across the country, including Mysore, and the cash subsidy will be directly credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
M.B. Chinnappa, lead bank officer of the district lead bank, State Bank of Mysore, told The Hindu that a publicity campaign had been launched through print, radio and television to reach out to those who did not have a saving banks account.
While there are 5.35 lakh households in Mysore district, the total number of SB accounts is more than 2.4 million, as per information available with the banks. However, this was because each household had more than one account. That did not mean that the district had achieved cent per cent financial inclusion, Mr. Chinnnappa said. “It is assumed that at least 40 per cent of the people in the district are yet to have an SB account in any of the commercial or grameena banks,” he added.
There had been meetings, interactions and discussions on the issue with gram panchayat members and other elected representatives, while NGOs and Stree Shakti Groups were being roped in to help people open SB accounts.
Mr. Chinnappa pointed out that SB accounts in district credit cooperative banks would not suffice and accounts should be opened in any of the commercial banks and grameena banks. “This is because the DCC banks are yet to have a core banking solution platform to enable direct cash transfer. However, grameena banks have been provided with IFSC code,” he said.
Apart from conventional means of spreading the word about the imperatives of opening SB accounts, pamphlets and brochures had been printed and distributed to the target community, while a special talk on the subject was aired by All India Radio Mysore on Monday.
Officials say there are challenges before them to ensure cent per cent financial inclusion, especially in rural areas where financial literacy levels are low and the concept of banking is not easily understood by the people.
Meanwhile, a series of meetings of senior bank officials in Mysore, Hunsur, K.R. Nagar and other taluk centres is slated to take place in the next couple of days to ensure that the financial inclusion is extensive and universal. The State Bank of India will launch a door-to-door survey to ascertain if the households have SB accounts and whether they have been Aadhaar-enabled in case of the existing customers.
40 p.c. of the people in the district are yet to open an SB account