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Financial Inclusion Plan and Road Ahead

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ShobhitYadav, Dy General Manager, Allahabad Bank, Zonal Office, Jharkhand

As banking services are in the nature of public good, it is essential that availability of banking and payment services to entire population without discrimination is the prime objective of the public policy and this the main objective behind Financial Inclusion Plan.
As per the census 2011, 58.7% households are availing banking services in the country. To extend the reach of Banking to those outside the formal banking system, Government and Reserve Bank of India are taking various initiatives from time to time through opening of Bank Branches in all habitations of 5000 or more population in under Banked districts and 10,000 or more population in other districts, each household to have at least one bank account, and coverage of unbanked villages by Business Correspondent model.
Business Correspondents are retail agents engaged by banks for providing banking services at locations other than a bank branch/ATM. BCs represents the Bank concerned and enable a bank to extend its outreach and offer limited range of banking services at low cost, particularly where setting up a brick and mortar branches is not viable.
IN Jharkhand state 1541 unbanked villages above 2000 population have been covered by the Banks by March’2012 and in the second phase more than 30000 villages have to be covered by the banks.
The Financial Inclusion Plan is also linked with Direct Benefit Transfer or DBT programme launched by the Govt. The primary aim of this Direct Benefit Transfer programe is to bring transparency and terminate pilferage from distribution of funds sponsored by the Govt. In DBT, benefits or subsidy are being transferred to the beneficiaries account directly through Aadhaar Payment system. This would enable Government sponsored benefits such as scholarship,pensions and other benefits to flow directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries, who can access them using their Aadhaar number. The Direct Benefits Transfer System is also covering wages and subsidies on food and LPG. The successful implementation of DBT rests on twin pillars of Aadhaar generation and financial Inclusion of the beneficiaries.
In the state of Jharkhand central as well as State Govt. with the active support of banking sector successfully launched DBT in various Central and state govt. sponsored schemes. All 24 districts in Jharkhand have been covered under the DBT in 26 centrally sponsored schemes. Jharkhand Govt has also implemented E-Kalyan scheme under which 2.6 lakh Prematric and Post-matric students’ scholarship have been covered.
Allahabad Bank is actively participating in all the programme launched by the Govt. including Financial Inclusion and DBT in the state. 112 unbanked villages allocated to Allahabad Bank above 2000 population have been covered by the bank. Now we are in second phase, wherein 1844 villages have been allocated to Allahabad Bank below 2000 population for coverage under Financial Inclusion Plan. In the FY 2013-14 we have opened 09 new USB under FI aggregating 77 USBs in the state. Bank is in the way to open 12 new branches in Jharkhand during this FY 2013-14. Under DBT and DBTL scheme Allahabad Bank has actively participated and in 24 districts we have organized special Camps for opening of account and mapping of Aadhaar number. Under E-Kalyan scheme 15458 accounts have been seeded with the Aadhhar number in Jharkhand. Allahabad Bank has launched awareness Camps in the Rural and semi urban areas for the mass to educate about the Banks various schemes, Financial Inclusion Plan and Direct Benefit Transfer. The awareness camps have a very fruitful impact on the rural people.
Allahabad Bank with all the stakeholders of the development of the State are doing their level best for the benefit of the State

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