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95 % of households in NE lack formal finance: RBI
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 23 (NPN):
Published on 24 Mar. 2011 12:33 AM IST
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Executive director Reserve Bank of India (RBI) D.K. Mohanty on Wednesday said that 43 percent of adult population or 145 million households in the country still do not have access to banking, while the situation in the North East Region was far below the average with 95 percent of the farmer households not having access to “formal finance.”
Inaugurating the RBI’s financial outreach camp at Chumukedima village Dimapur, the executive director said that the bank was now focusing on how to bring the remaining 47 percent of population under the fold of mainstream banking system so as to achieve ‘financial inclusion’ in every nook and corner of the country.
He said during the last 75 years of its existence, the RBI has been tirelessly initiating many policies and programmes for the overall economic betterment of the country by increasing production, controlling prices and outreaching banking facilities to the village and also by involving itself by guiding banks and other financial institutions to make the villagers aware about the financial services. Despite of all such efforts, Mohanty said that the non availability of financial institutions continued to exist.
He said it was for this reason, the RBI has launched village outreach programmes in all the states of India including those in the North Eastern region to extend banking services to every un-banked and under-banked village.
It may be noted that the outreach camp was conducted to make the general mass aware of the financial services being offered by the formal banking channel and to see whether the same was made available at an affordable cost to the needy villagers having low income and poor background from across the country.
For this, the State Bank of India has been entrusted to place a banking correspondence in the village and also to arrange no “frill accounts” to the villagers, the executive director informed and added that the SBI would also be setting up a Customer Service Point (CSP) to be manned by a banking correspondence in the village in the coming days to provide basic banking facilities.
It may be recalled that Wednesday’s camp at Chumukedima was the fifth outreach camp organized by RBI, Guwahati during the current year, the previous four had been held in Mizoram, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Last year, an outreach camp was conducted at Khonoma village in Kohima district.
According to Mohanty, the development in all the villages where financial outreach camps were conducted has been closely monitored, including arranging for 100 percent financial inclusion and skill development among interested villagers for setting up of micro enterprises/cottage industries etc by the RBI.
On the loan issue, the executive director clearly pointed out that the loans needed to repaid with interest to enable the bank pay its depositors.
He said loans were not grants or subsidy and that it should be used mainly for productive purpose since they have to be paid with interest. “We have to ensure that the borrower has the requisite skills and ability to utilize the loans for productive use,” he said. Further, Mohanty said that the reasons behind the failure to provide loans by the bank to the beneficiaries were due to lack of infrastructure and communication, even though the region might be having rich natural resources.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Regional Director RBI Guwahti, Surekha Marandi said even though the country has made a progress in various fields, there were lakhs of villages which remained untouched by these advancements. For this reason the camp was organized, the RD said and informed the villagers to approach the banking ombudsman in case they find the services provided were deficient.
State government officials, various bank officials, Chumukedima villagers and public attended the programme.
Various stalls by RBI, office of banking ombudsman, NABARD, SBI, SIDNI, HDFC, Nagaland Rural Bank, Nagaland State Co-operative Bank, Horticulture Department Government of Nagaland; Khadi and Village Industries Commission, National Small Industries Corp Ltd, NEDFi and village handicraft society were set up at the camp. HDFC was the only private bank which participated in the RBI’s financial outreach camp.

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