Financial inclusion is a key priority of the Government of India and an area in which India can demonstrate a number of important achievements. The vision for India’s financial sector reforms is guided by objectives of ‘inclusion, growth and stability’ which has been extended further to develop comprehensive recommendations for financial inclusion of small businesses and low-income households. Government schemes promoting financial inclusion such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana that aims to bring about comprehensive financial inclusion and provide banking services to all households in the country have played a key role in providing bank accounts to 80 per cent adult Indians. RBI has been promoting financial inclusion through schemes such as the SHG-Bank Linkage Programme, schemes for marginalised groups such as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and a range of priority sector lending measures pertaining to agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and in other areas.
This theme looks at a bank’s efforts to include customers who are perceived to be at a higher risk of exclusion from the formal banking system such as poor and marginal groups, people living in rural areas, people in different regions of India, MSMEs and migrant workers who need to send remittances back home. For the purposes of this
assessment, marginal groups include women (for example SHG Bank Linkage activities) as well as Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe populations. Other areas covered by this thematic assessment include financial literacy, costs of basic banking, credit processing information, transparency regarding a client’s rights,risks of products or services and housing finance, and because it is also linked to access to finance, technology.
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