TAMIL NADU

100 % financial inclusion a massive task: Gokarn

Sharing a point: Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank T.M. Bhasin (left) with Deputy Governor of RBI Subir Gokarn at Mangalam village on Thursday. — Photo : T.Singaravelou

Sharing a point: Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank T.M. Bhasin (left) with Deputy Governor of RBI Subir Gokarn at Mangalam village on Thursday. — Photo : T.Singaravelou  

The achievement of 100 per cent financial inclusion is a massive task and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banks and business correspondents should work together in achieving the goal, said Deputy Governor of RBI Subir Gokarn. He was addressing an event organised by the Indian Bank at Mangalam here on Thursday.

Mr. Gokarn distributed loans and smart cards to 235 beneficiaries in the village. Part of the RBI's Outreach Programme, the visit was aimed at getting first hand information on the implementation of Financial Inclusion Plan.

The Deputy Governor said that he wished to see development similar to that in Mangalam village across the country. The village had full penetration of banking services with 2,000 savings bank accounts among 800 families, and was pronounced a model village by the Indian Bank in 2005.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Mr. Gokarn said that the RBI was striving to achieve the 2012 target of the Financial Inclusion Plan and that each region in the country required a different model of approach and no one plan would fit all.

On the question of private banks having minimum services in rural areas, he said that not just rural areas, but the services of these private players who had a big presence in the urban areas were yet to reach most people in the informal sector in the cities. But, he added that the private banks were doing much through their corporate social responsibility programmes.

He also said that the time had come for SHGs to articulate on the kind of banking services that suit them individually.

Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Bank T.M. Bhasin said that the bank had contributed immensely by initiating new dimensions in rural development such as microstate branches and Financial Liberty and Credit Counselling Centres. He also said that the financial inclusion endeavour was started in Puducherry in 2005 under the National Pilot Project on Financial Inclusion with the guidance of the RBI.

Mangalam, Mr. Bhasin said, had become the first village in the country to have 100 per cent financial inclusion through operation of “No frills” accounts.

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