A mobile-enabled kisan card system to help the agricultural community engage in cashless transactions, especially with their input providers, was launched here on Sunday to benefit farmers in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu by Pallavan Grama Bank.
K.C. Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, who launched the pilot project, said there was nothing new about mobile banking. “But this is for the first time that a structured launch involving the farming community have been done.”
This would not only bring down the transaction cost but also the time involved. And it would be a 24X7 facility.
This would be user-friendly, paperless and enable doorstep-banking transactions by farmers using their mobile handsets towards purchase of farm inputs.
He said this could be extended all over the country any time.
“The only issue is whether the farmers are accustomed to mobile banking. Besides not all the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are computerised. We are trying to popularise mobile banking on a large scale.”
Dr. Chakrabarty expressed hope that in the next five years if every farmer and every worker were to have a bank account, this mobile banking system would automatically become popular. Earlier he addressed a sensitisation meet for farmers and bankers in this regard.
Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Prakash Bakshi said mobile banking using kisan credit card was conceived because it was found that most of the agriculturists used to draw their loans as a lump sum. This involved substantial outgo of interest even when the loan was not fully utilised and, at times, resulted in multiple visits to the bank. The entire benefit of the subsidised loan that had been granted to them was lost.
“Now, farmers can place the order over phone and transfer the purchase price through their mobile handset in no time. They can do multiple transactions as well.”
The project, with Rs.44.66 lakh grant assistance from NABARD.
Those who took part in the function included T.M. Bhasin, chairman and managing director, Indian Bank, which has extended the technical support for the project, and G. Rangarajan, chairman, Pallavan Grama Bank.