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RBI contests State claim on full financial inclusion

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Outreach: Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao (right) with Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao (second from right) at an exhibition of products displayed by self-help groups and farmers at Doddabalavangala village in Doddaballapur taluk where he launched a pilot project on financial literacy on Tuesday.
Outreach: Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao (right) with Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao (second from right) at an exhibition of products displayed by self-help groups and farmers at Doddabalavangala village in Doddaballapur taluk where he launched a pilot project on financial literacy on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

Banks have to cover a lot of ground, says Subbarao

Bangalore: Reserve Bank of India (BRI) Governor D. Subbarao has contested the Karnataka Government’s claim on achieving 100 per cent financial inclusion and said banks have to cover a lot of ground to achieve cent per cent financial inclusion.

Dr. Subbarao, who flagged off a pilot project on financial literacy at Doddaballavangala village in Doddaballapur taluk of Bangalore Rural district on Tuesday, said the State Government had declared on May 14, 2009 that it had achieved 100 per cent financial inclusion. “But that may not be accurate at the ground level. We do our own evaluation and have found that the State has not achieved 100 per cent financial inclusion,” he said.

The RBI Governor interacted with bankers on their initiatives to achieve 100 per cent financial inclusion and said all villages having a population of 2,000 would be helped to achieve 100 per cent financial inclusion with the support of banks and the Government. The RBI, which is celebrating its platinum jubilee in 2009-10, has planned several outreach programmes to obtain feedback on the implementation of schemes in rural areas.

Officials of the RBI, banks, regional rural banks (RRBs) and the Government will go to villages to not only disseminate information on banking schemes but also get feedback from the people who benefited from the schemes, he said.

Dr. Subbarao visited an exhibition of products displayed by self-help groups and farmers in the village and said there were 80 lakh farmer-households in the State and Kisan Cards had been distributed to 50 lakh farmers so far.

The RBI Governor released a book, “Learn Like a Tortoise and Earn Like a Honeybee”, which will be in the included in the curriculum for fifth, seventh and ninth standard students of government and aided schools in the State to create awareness about the value of money and services offered by banks.

It would be part of the school curriculum from the next academic year (2010-11). The inclusion of financial aspects in the curriculum would help students understand the role of the RBI and the banking system, he said.

Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao, who received copies of the financial literacy programme from the RBI Governor, said several banks, RRBs, cooperatives and the State-Level Bankers’ Committee were working towards achieving total financial inclusion in the State. Principal Secretary, Finance Department, M.R. Srinivasmurthy; RBI Regional Director B. Srinivas; and Commissioner, Department of Public Instruction, Harish Gowda, attended the programme.

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