Partnership model needed for financial inclusion: UNDP
The public-private partnership model should be adopted to ensure financial inclusion by assisting the vast population across India to open bank accounts, a United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) report released Friday said.
The report, which evaluated the Madhya Pradesh model of financial inclusion, said inclusion pertaining to setting up branchless banking and banking correspondent models should not be treated as mere corporate social responsibility initiatives, but as "revenue earning models".
"If, after four decades of bank nationalisation, more than half of the country's vast population does not have a bank account, it is reflection of the reality that banks cannot serve a vast population spread across 3.3 million square km," the report said in its recommendations.
Speaking after the report was released, Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Antony J.C. Desa said digital inclusion is the key to financial inclusion.
"Social inclusion can only come through financial inclusion, and for financial inclusion, digital inclusion is the key," Desa said.
"The digital database of 75 million population in Madhya Pradesh has helped inclusion of millions, making Madhya Pradesh the third-biggest state to undertake online transfer of funds," he said.
The secretary said Madhya Pradesh made e-transaction worth Rs.40 crore, finishing third after Gujarat (Rs.43 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs.42 crore) according to the government's portal, eTaal, which counts e-transaction done by government.
Additional Secretary Snehlata Srivastava of the finance ministry, meanwhile, said nearly 8,000 more bank branches will be opened across the country by the end of March to facilitate direct benefit transfer.
She added that more than half of the work in this regard had already been completed.
(Posted on 24-01-2014)