Financial Inclusion Mission to be big I-Day announcement

On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Financial Inclusion Mission to ensure that every household in India has access to banking services such as savings accounts, credit, remittances, insurance and pension.

On Thursday, Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley, who announced the programme in the Union Budget, asked banks to explore the possibilities of installing ATMs in rural areas for greater financial inclusion.

At present, more than 40 per cent of Indian households do not have access to banking services. The programme’s objective is to ensure that a minimum two members of each of these 7.5-crore households at least have savings bank accounts. The multi-level outreach will be undertaken through ATMs, banking correspondents, branches and other banking platforms.

Mobile banking

Briefing presspersons after holding a meeting with the chief executive officers of public sector banks and financial institutions on formulating the plan for the programme, Mr. Jaitley said mobile banking platforms for basic or feature mobile-phones were on the government’s agenda.

“The government is targeting the individual household rather than the village … this is a marked shift from earlier efforts where only opening of account was the focus of the financial inclusion drive,” Mr. Jaitley said. This is a big challenge and there are several difficulties such as lack of connectivity and infrastructure, he added.

The Finance Minister said that where there were very low levels of financial literacy, it was essential that people understood the importance of accessing financial services which would enable them to participate in the growth story. Therefore, financial literacy would receive special emphasis in this new programme of financial inclusion.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 1:14:00 PM |

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