TIRUCHI: Empowerment of the poor would be possible only when financial institutions align their approach to the requirements of the people, A. K. Jagannathan, Managing Director, State Bank of Travancore, said on Monday.
With financial inclusion in place, a process has been initiated to ensure timely and adequate credit and financial services to the rural people at affordable costs. The very objective of the Financial Inclusion is to promote developmental and promotional interventions, Mr. Jagannathan said, delivering the key-note address at an Endowment Lecture on ‘Financial Inclusion’ organised by the Department of Commerce, St. Joseph’s College. The programme was organised in honour of retired professors of the department.
For many years, financial institutions gave importance to ‘brick and mortar’ banking, offering their services exclusively for the rich and urban people. Thus, only 10 per cent of the rural population could get access to the bank credit whereby gap between the rich and the poor got accentuated.
The target of providing cent per cent financial cover in all the districts in the country by 2020 has been set for banks. So far, financial cover has been provided to 68 per cent of the 611 districts in the country, Mr. Jagannathan, an alumnus of the College, said, attributing the current pace of progress to the reformation initiatives undertaken by the former RBI Governor C. Rangarajan, with the objective of empowering the poor to take charge of their lives. Presiding over, Principal Rev. Fr. R. Rajarathinam said financial inclusion had become an inevitable tool to lift the Indian economy, particularly the rural parts.
Senior officials of State Bank of Travancore Srinivas and Shivaraman, Head of the Department of Commerce Francis Gnanasekaran, and retired Professor and Head, M.P. Vellore, took part.