Staff Reporter

Credit counselling centres should be opened, says RBI Deputy Governor

BHUBANESWAR: Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India Usha Thorat on Wednesday laid emphasis on financial literacy among rural masses so that bank benefits could percolate down to ground.

Addressing the media through video-conferencing, Ms. Thorat said common persons should know the banking transactions and processes involved in availing credit from banks.

The RBI deputy governor, along with top officials, shared recommendations of high-level committee that was constituted to review lead bank schemes which have been in implementation since 1969.

Ms. Thorat, who is chairperson of the committee, said each lead bank was expected to open a financial literacy and credit counselling centres in every district for which funds could be provided from Financial Inclusion Fund.

As part of financial literacy efforts, RBI should bring out small publications in various local languages in easily comprehensible language on different areas on which instructions were issued by it, she said.

The RBI Deputy Governor said that State Level Bankers’ Committees (SLBC) should have dedicated financial literacy division to propagate various instructions and conduct a periodic publicity drive in different subjects related to the banking.

Local conditions

“The products and services offered by banks may be appropriately modified to suit local conditions.

The SLBCs can identify such needs and offer solutions or products that could be uniformly adopted by the banks in the region,” the committee has recommended.

When asked to comment on villagers’ approach to microfinance agencies more frequently than banks for credit, Ms. Thorat said banks present in rural sectors analyse as to how they were reaching out to poor farmers and evolve mechanism to penetrate into village sectors more effectively.

The RBI deputy governor also urged to put a well-organised feedback mechanism in place to ensure that RBI instructions which were issued time to time were carried out properly. RBI Regional Director Kaza Sudhakar along with his colleagues coordinated the interaction through video-conferencing from Bhubaneswar.