Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Regional Director Uma Shankar has said financial inclusion, spreading fiscal literacy and priority sector lending are at the core of the Reserve Bank of India's mandate.
Speaking after inaugurating the credit camp relating to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) organised by the Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) here on Thursday, she said only about 5 per cent of the 6 lakh villages across the country have been provided with banking outlets. So, the task of achieving financial inclusion of a vast segment of our populace, who are deprived of banking services, is clear. Thus RBI's main focus is towards promoting greater financial inclusion.
She also asked the banks to develop their own business models to achieve financial inclusion completely. While appreciating the efforts of the Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank under financial inclusion programme, she said that the Regional Rural Banks could play a major role in financial inclusion.
In order to address the issue of uneven spread of bank branches, banks are permitted to freely open branches in tier 3 to tier 6 cities with population up to 49,999. Banks were mandated to allocate at least 25 per cent of the total number of branches to be opened during a year to unbanked rural centres, she said.
A model scheme on Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centres (FLCCs) was formulated by the RBI, and in Karnataka till date, 30 such centres are functioning covering 27 districts.
In Karnataka, the RBI had identified 9 villages for transforming them into model villages by providing banking facilities to all residents, she added.