RBI asks bankers to “stir up passion” for financial inclusion

RBI says merely opening accounts of villagers in unbanked areas under FIP will not serve any purpose where transactions in holders’ accounts is minimal

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked bankers to “stir up passion” for providing banking facilities to unbanked villages in Punjab and Haryana within the stipulated time frame of March 2012. The apex bank made this observation while reviewing the FIPs (Financial Inclusion Plans) during the State-Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting for Punjab and Haryana. Over 450 villages in both states are yet to be covered under the Centre’s most ambitious FIP.

“Passion and zeal is missing among bank officials... There has to be passion... Let us change our attitude... We are not officers... We have to work as public servants,” Jasbir Singh, RBI regional director, said while discussing the review of financial inclusion programme. RBI says merely opening accounts of villagers in unbanked areas under FIP will not serve any purpose where transactions in holders’ accounts is minimal.

“Mere opening of accounts will not serve purpose... transactions should also take place in the accounts,” said Mr Singh, acknowledging that number of transactions in accounts was not encouraging at several places. He added that bank officials need to go to the masses in villages and try to bring them in the banking fold. RBI in its field visits conducted at some places in Punjab and Haryana found that bankers were enrolling the beneficiaries while showing them as covered under FIP, though smart cards were not issued to account holders, he said. In some cases where the smart cards are issued, it remained non-operational, he added.

 According to the RBI, the FIP is treated as complete with the whole operations of identification, enrolment, issuance of smart cards, and its operations by the account holders to be ensured by business correspondents. Banks have been given the target of covering 1,576 unbanked villages in Punjab and 1,838 villages in Haryana, with a population of 2,000 and above, by March 2012. Out of these, 1,260 and 1,670 villages have been covered in Punjab and Haryana by December 2011, respectively, SLBC report said.

Mr Singh also stressed on creating awareness among villagers about the benefits of banking services so they could start using banking services at large scale. Coverage of unbanked villages under FIP assumes significance as the Centre intends to extend benefits of banking to each citizen of India for speeding up economic development.

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COMMENTS

nitai chandra ray

6 years ago

I had the opportunity to interact with a
Financial Inclusion Supervisor today .
What emanated from the conversation
is that Banks have taken the financial
inclusion plan of RBI as another gimmic .
All the Bank Officials and the Banking
Correspondents should be empathetic
to unbanked rustic remote areas . Only
circulars and statements will not serve
the purpose of issuing smartcards to
illiterate peasants of India .

Unitech to contest Telenor’s demand for compensation

“The Supreme Court has cancelled all the UAS licences and spectrum granted on and after 10 January 2008, and has raised multiple questions on the government’s policy which in no manner can be considered as breach of warranties on the part of Unitech,” a Unitech statement said

New Delhi: A day after its Norwegian partner Telenor sought indemnities for cancellation of telecom licence, real estate firm Unitech today said there was no breach of warranties on its part and it will contest any demand for compensation, reports PTI.

“The Supreme Court has cancelled all the UAS licences and spectrum granted on and after 10 January 2008, and has raised multiple questions on the government’s policy which in no manner can be considered as breach of warranties on the part of Unitech,” a Unitech statement said.

It added that it will therefore be incorrect to claim or even suggest that the cancellation of the UAS licences by the Supreme Court demonstrates a breach of any warranties on the part of Unitech.

“At best, the Telenor group can invoke the provisions between the governments for protection of their investment in India, but they shall have no valid claim on Unitech and any demand from Unitech shall be contested,” Unitech said.

On Wednesday, the Norwegian telecom major blamed its Indian partner Unitech for the cancellation of 22 licences held by their telecom joint venture Uninor and sought “indemnity and compensation” from it.

“Telenor Group holds Unitech liable for the breach of warranties related to the cancellation of licences—seeking compensation for all investment, guarantees and damages caused by the Supreme Court order,” Telenor said in a statement.

The Norwegian firm also said that it is looking for new Indian partner to continue its business in India.

“It is Telenor Group’s position that the strategic partnership with Unitech does not have a future and it, therefore, will start looking for a new Indian partner,” Telenor said.

The Telenor Group has invested over Rs6,100 crore in equity and over Rs8,000 crore in corporate guarantees as a foreign investor and the company holds 67.25% in Unitech Wireless, which own brand Uninor.

Shares of Unitech were trading at Rs 32.25, up by 1.57%, on the BSE in afternoon trade.

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IRFC, Hudco tax-free bonds

IRFC (Indian Railway Finance Corporation) will offer 8.15% and 8.30%pa (per annum) to retail investors (individual and HUF below Rs5 lakh investment) in bonds with maturity periods of 10 and 15 years, respectively. HNIs (high net worth individuals) and QIPs (qualified institutional investors) will get interest rates of 8% and 8.10%pa for the same terms. HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development...

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