Finance minister P Chidambaram has directed government banks to focus on adding new no-frills bank accounts to include the urban poor who have no banking access.
Until now, banks have been focusing on financial inclusion in the rural areas. Now they have been asked to chalk out a strategy to ensure that there is at least one bank account for one family that categorises as "poor" in the metros, said a senior government official.
"Financial inclusion drive has been rural centric till now. However, there is a sizeable poor population in the metros, who migrate to big cities, but the issues remain same. This needs to be addressed," said the official.
Banks are required to provide a status report on financial inclusion to the finance ministry on the number of no-frill bank accounts being added.
"Financial inclusion is one of the most important projects and it is necessary to look at the migrant workers as well and provide them a cushion," he said.
The government has stressed the need to expand the scope of financial inclusion covering the entire gamut of financial services pertaining to savings, credit, insurance and even housing to achieve an inclusive model for growth.