The UPA government’s focus on aam admi is set to expand with the finance ministry planning a concrete roadmap for financial inclusion of the ‘unbanked population and regions’ in the next couple of months. The fixed plan may be for a period of five years.
At present, more than 60 per cent of the population is outside the institutional banking net. An official source told Hindustan Times that the government is in favour of a state-wise plan instead of rolling out a pan India exercise.
“There would be different models for different states, depending on their character, geography, technology thrust. Until now, we did not have any fixed plan on financial inclusion but soon there would a roadmap and even targets may be fixed,” a senior government official on condition of anonymity said.
To make the plan more effective state-owned banks would be given targets. The regional rural banks would also be taken on board to roll out the plan.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the Union Budget said, “For a country like ours, with significant sections of unbanked population and regions, financial inclusion is vital for sustaining long term equitable development.”
He added that scheduled commercial banks have been opening ‘no frills’ accounts either with ‘nil’ or very low minimum balances as part of the financial inclusion exercise. There are about 3.3 crore such accounts.