The finance ministry has asked all government-owned banks to expand the scope of financial inclusion to migrant labourers who come into cities from rural areas in search of jobs.
A senior official at the finance ministry who did not wish to be identified told Hindustan Times that banks have been asked to formulate a strategy by which these labourers can be brought under the banking net.
Until now, public sector banks have been focussing on providing banking facilities to villages with a population of 2000. The project is expected to complete by 2014. Banks would now be asked to have a similar kind of strategy aimed at the migrant labourers and provide them with bank accounts."We have now taken up the issue of migrant labourers as well and this issue needs to be addressed and delved into as the population of these informal workers is increasing significantly," the official 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 a sustainable and inclusive model for growth.
Apart from banks, the National Housing Bank is also looking into the issue of providing shelter to such workers.
The finance ministry recently asked the banks to provide a status report on financial inclusion and the number of no-frill bank accounts that have been added in the current fiscal.
“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,” the finance ministry official said.