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Impact of Financial Inclusion And Ways to Make Financial Inclusion More Effective

Md. Danish Post Graduate Diploma in Management Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow A Project Submitted as a Partial Fulfillment of Post Graduate Diploma in Management May 3rd, 2010 - June 19th, 2010
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Impact of Financial Inclusion And Ways to Make Financial Inclusion More Effective

SUBMITTED TO: MR. M.S. Mahanot Chief Manager, Narhi Branch, Bank of Baroda Lucknow

SUBMITTED BY: Md. Danish Post Graduate Diploma in Management Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow

A Project Submitted as a Partial Fulfillment of Post Graduate Diploma in Management May 3rd, 2010 - June 19th, 2010
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Declaration
This is to declare that Mr. Mohammad Danish has done his Summer Project Training in Bank of Baroda - Narhi Branch, Lucknow under kind guidance of Mr.G.M.Dayal, under the overall supervision of Mr. M.S. Mahanot, Chief Manager - Narhi Branch, Bank of Baroda, Lucknow. The data obtained and the report of the project has not been submitted by the investigator for any other degree nor the project work is published in any of the journals. This is an original work.

Mr. M.S.Mahanot

Mr. G.M.Dayal

Mr. Mohammad Danish

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Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.

- Albert Camus For S.H.Rizvi

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Acknowledgement
I Md. Danish, from Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow would express my sincere gratitude to all those who have helped me directly or indirectly in this summer internship project. First, I thank my Project Supervisor Mr. M.S. Mahanot, Chief Manager Narhi, Bank of Baroda, for his continuous support in my Summer Internship Project. Mr. Mahanot was always there to listen and to give advice. Without Mr. G.M.Dayal, this project could not be completed as he guided me at every level and provided relevant study material and data. I owe a lot to him as he gave me a chance of practical experience in term of a field trip to Raebareily, Live Study on Raebareily. I also thank Mr. D.K.Pandey, Lead District Manager of Raebareily for taking out time for me from his busy schedule and integrating my visit with other Bank of Baroda Rural Branches (Dalmau & Maharaj Ganj). Special thanks goes to my faculty Mrs. Sushma Vishnani who is most responsible for helping me in framing my Summer Internship Project as well as guided me on structuring my research. I would like to acknowledge the role of Branch Managers of Dalmu and Maharaj Ganj, Business Correspondent Mr. Shashi Bhavan, Raebareilys Integra service provider manager Mr. Ashish, FLCC counselor Mr.S.N.Lal.Srivastav, Director of Baroda Swarojgar Vikas Sansthan and Smt. Kalpana Bansal for helping me to make my Live Study effective by accentuating various aspect of Financial Inclusion and sharing problems faced by them. I couldnt have completed my project report with the help of my friend Miss S.H.Rizvi. She taught me how to write research papers, made me a better writer by correcting some of my grammatical mistakes, had confidence in me when I doubted myself, and brought out the good ideas in me. I thank her for her patience bearing with me and correcting my work when ever and where ever required. Last, but not least, I thank my family: my parents, Mr. Abdul Haleem Khan and Mrs. Nikhat Khan, for giving me life in the first place, for educating me, for unconditional support and encouragement to pursue my interests. My sister Uzra Khan, for sharing her experience of the project writing endeavor with me, for listening to my complaints and frustrations, and for believing in me.

Thank You All Md. Danish

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Content
S.No 1. Topics Executive Summary a) About Bank of Baroda b) Vision & Mission Statement c) Bank of Barodas initiative toward Financial Inclusion d) About Reserve Bank of India e) Measure Undertaken by RBI toward Financial Inclusion f) RBI guidelines on Financial Inclusion by Extension of Banking Services Use of BFs & BCs g) Measure of Financial Inclusion/Exclusion Chapter 1 - Introduction a) 11th Five Year Plan & Indian Growth b) Vision of 11th Five Plan c) Disparity & Divide d) Financing Development e) Introduction to Financial Inclusion f) What does Financial Inclusion Means? g) Who are Financially Excluded? h) What are the Problems & Difficulties? i) Understanding the Key Stakeholder j) RBI Initiative for Greater Financial Inclusion Chapter 2 - IT Solution for Financial Inclusion a) Financial Inclusion through IT b) Role of ICT in Financial Inclusion c) ICT for Financial Inclusion RBI Initiative d) Electronic Benefit Payment e) Regulatory Framework f) Role of Technology g) Technology & Financial Inclusion Chapter 3 - Financial Inclusion through SHGs & Micro Finance a) SHG Model b) Understanding SHG Banking Linkage Program and their Role in Financial Inclusion c) Impact of Bank Linked SHG Program d) Issues in Bank Linked SHG Program e) Recent Initiative by NABARD f) Micro Finance Initiative by SIDBI Chapter 4 - Live Study Launching of Pilot Project in Raebareily District a) Research Methodology (Part A) - Aim & Objective - Research Question Page No

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18-32

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33-40

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41-52

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53-73

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- Research Approach - Research Method - Data Collection b) Field Study Report (Part B) - Introduction - Pre-requirement of a Financial Inclusion System - Launching of Pilot Project in Raebareily District - Integras iMFAST - About iMFAST - Technical feature of the Product, Integra iMFAST - Business Correspondent Model - Modus Operandi - Meeting with Shashi Bhavan Chandra (BC) - Financial Literacy & Credit Counselling - In conversation with Mr. S.N.Lal Srivastav, Counselor at FLCC, Raebareily - Rendezvous with Mr. Shiv Ram - In conversation with Bank of Baroda Branch Manager Dalmau Chapter 5 - Data Analysis a) Some Glaring Facts About Financial Exclusion b) Role of Financial Inclusion in Achieving Inclusive Growth c) RBI to Evaluate Progress of Financial Inclusion Chapter 6 - Interpretation a) State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) b) SLBC Uttar Pradesh Profile c) Strategy & Approach d) Huge Increase in No-Frill Account Chapter 7 - Findings a) Interaction with LMD Raebareily b) Interaction with Branch Manager- Dalmau c) Interaction with Branch Manager Maharaj Ganj d) Interaction with Integra Agent, Mr. Ashish e) Interaction with BC, Mr. Sashi Bhavan f) Interaction with Mr. S.N.Lal Srivastav Chapter 8 - Measures to Make Financial Inclusion More Effective a) To broaden the Role of FLCC b) Bridging Product Gaps c) Advance Technology to Minimize the Cost & Provide a Wider Reach d) Toward Greater Financial Literacy Bibliography

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List of Tables and Boxes

S.No 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Topics Pros & Cons of Various Technologies (Table 1- (7.37)) SHG Financed from 2001-02 to 2006-07 (Table 2) SHG Post Office Linkage Program (Box V.2) Micro Financed Development & Equity Funds (Box V.3) Employment & Unemployment (Table 3) Earner Having a Bank Account (Table 4) Sources of Loan (Table 5) Progress of No-Frill Account in Indian Banking (Table 6) Physical Progress under SGSY Since Inception (Table 7)

Page No. 39 43 47 48 76 77 77 80 81-82

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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ABOUT BANK OF BARODA


A saga of vision and enterprise
It has been a long and eventful journey of more than a century across 25 countries. Starting in 1908 from a small building in Baroda to its new hi-rise and hi-tech Baroda Corporate Centre in Mumbai is a saga of vision, enterprise, financial prudence and corporate governance. It is a story scripted in corporate wisdom and social pride. It is a story crafted in private capital, princely patronage and state ownership. It is a story of ordinary bankers and their extraordinary contribution in the ascent of Bank of Baroda to the formidable heights of corporate glory. It is a story that needs to be shared with all those millions of people - customers, stakeholders, employees & the public at large - who in ample measure, have contributed to the making of an institution.

Mission statement
To be a top ranking National Bank of International Standards committed to augmenting stake holders' value through concern, care and competence.

Bank of Barodas Initiatives toward Financial Inclusion


Bank of Baroda has adopted the whole village approach as part of its mandate for enabling for financial inclusion by extending banking services to the countrys rural population. To give rural India access to finance and to enable economic independence, Bank of Baroda has introduced a slew of services that extend credit facilities to small and marginal farmers, agricultural laborers and cottage industry entrepreneurs. Villages in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan were among the first 500 villages to benefit from the Banks financial inclusion and total integrated village development programme. In the past too, the Bank has taken a number of initiatives such as opening of specialised outlets of Gram Vikas Kendras (GVKs) and Multi Service Agencies (MSAs). The Baroda Swarojgar Vikas Sansthan (BSVS) was another initiative for capacity building and provided appropriate training for skill up-gradation to unemployed youth and women for employment.

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The Baroda Kisan Credit Card (BKCC) is yet another facility offered by the Bank to empower the farmer. The credit card designed exclusively for the benefit of the farmers aims to provide them the opportunity to manage and utilize their funds in the manner they deem fit. The Kisan Credit Card provides adequate and timely support to farmers for their production needs, which include among others, purchase of quality inputs, investment requirements like purchase of agriculture implements/tractor etc, farming expenses towards farm maintenance, unforeseen family expenses and maintenance of non-farm activities. As part of the Banks commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility in its centenary year, i.e., 2007-08, BoB launched the Baroda Grameen Paramarsh Kendra (BGPK) a centre for knowledge sharing, problem solving and credit counselling for the rural communities. The BGPK is an effort to narrow the knowledge gap in financial literacy, better farming practices and technology adoption. It offers rural communities a diversity of opportunities including market linked prices, value addition services offered by various institutions, women empowerment and employment opportunities for rural youth. The BGPK centre helps in spreading financial awareness among rural masses through village level meetings and helps them to choose suitable banking products. As part of information sharing and problem solving process, it holds interface sessions with the specialists from institutions like agriculture universities, Kisan Vikas Kendras and NGOs working in the rural development sector. The centre also provides extension services to the farmers by encouraging their participation in Grameen melas, and organising television and radio talks. Each of the BGVK centre also maintains a small library containing books, journals and audio-visual aids. Information on the prices of agriculture commodities in various mandis across the country is also provided, enabling the farmers to sell their products at the best prices. The farmers are also provided credit counselling on repayment pattern and rescheduling of loans and fresh credit during situations of rural distress. Another important initiative is the Baroda Kisan Group Loan a joint liability scheme for purchase of heavy agricultural machinery like tractors, power-tillers, etc. either by farmers having larger holdings with irrigation facilities or group of farmers with irrigation facilities. The Bank also provides credit for purchase of second hand tractors to farmers interested in dry-land farming or having a small land holding. Production credit is also provided for raising various crops from the point of preparatory tillage till harvesting, for landowners or permanent tenants or leaseholders or sharecroppers. It encourages the development of irrigation facilities; this covers sinking of wells/bore wells, lifting of water by installation of pump sets, transporting of water
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through field channels, water saving systems like drip irrigation/sprinkler irrigation etc. for farmers. It also extends working capital to dealers/ distributors/traders of agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilisers, livestock inputs like cattle feed, medicine etc. and supply of agriculture machinery/ irrigation systems. Employment is provided to the unemployed technical personnel through the Agro Service Centre. The Bank also facilitates the setting up of agri-clinics and agribusiness centres by agriculture graduates. To address the needs of rural infrastructure the Bank provides credit for the construction of farm building/structures like cattle sheds, thrashing yards, fencing etc. to the individual farmer or firms engaged in agricultural activity and are of long term nature. Credit is also provided for construction/expansion/ modernisation/renovation of rural godowns and cold storages. Other services provided by the Bank include, development of horticulture including production, processing and marketing of various fruit, vegetables, plantations and flowers, from the nursery to the point of market, by individual farmers, firms, organisations like co-operative societies. A number of allied activities, like dairy, poultry, fisheries, sericulture, mushrooms and apiculture are also encouraged by the Bank. To ensure financial inclusion for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes who have been provided/allotted land by the State government, the Bank finances their purchase of farm implements, irrigation systems and bullocks etc. The Bank has also allied itself with NGOs to encourage the formation of credit linked SHGs in the villages. Under the Dungarpur Project, the Bank works through the Peoples Education and Development Organisation (PEDO), a NGO working in rural development. This initiative of the Bank has already brought about a change in the lives of people. Bank of Baroda has also announced plans of adopting more villages across the country. It plans to disburse credit worth Rs 1 billion, over the next three years in these villages.

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ABOUT THE RBI


The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Calcutta but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937. The Central Office is where the Governor sits and where policies are formulated. Though originally privately owned, since nationalisation in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.

Preamble
The Preamble of the Reserve Bank of India describes the basic functions of the Reserve Bank as: "...to regulate the issue of Bank Notes and keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability in India and generally to operate the currency and credit system of the country to its advantage

Measures undertaken by Reserve Bank of India towards Financial Inclusion


In November 2005, banks were advised to make available a basic banking, no-frills account with low or nil minimum stipulated balances as well as charges to expand the outreach of such accounts to vast sections of the population. Several banks have since introduced such 'no-frills' account with and without value-added features. According to the information available with the Reserve Bank, about five lakh no-frill accounts have been opened until March 31, 2006, of which about two-third are with the public sector and one-third with the private sector banks. In order to ensure that persons belonging to low income group, both in urban and rural areas do not encounter difficulties in opening bank accounts owing to procedural hassles, the know your customer (KYC) procedures for opening accounts has been simplified. The Reserve Bank has directed banks to make available all printed material used by retail customers in English, Hindi and the concerned regional language. More recently, in January 2006, banks were permitted to utilise the
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services of non-governmental organisations (NGOs/SHGs), micro-finance institutions and other civil society organisations as intermediaries in providing financial and banking services through the use of business facilitator and business correspondent models. To extend hassle-free credit to bank customers in rural areas, the guidelines on general credit card (GCC) schemes were simplified to enable customers access credit on simplified terms and conditions, without insistence on security, purpose or end-use of credit. With a view of providing hassle free credit to customers, banks were allowed to issue general credit cards akin to Kisan credit cards. A simplified mechanism for one-time settlement of loans with principal amount up to Rs.25,000 which have become doubtful and loss assets as on September 30, 2005 was suggested for adoption. In case of loans granted under Government-sponsored schemes, banks were advised to frame separate guidelines following a state-specific approach to be evolved by the State-Level Bankers Committee (SLBC). Banks have been specifically advised that borrowers with loans settled under the one time settlement scheme will be eligible to re-access the formal financial system for fresh credit. Banks were advised to give effect to these measures at all branches for achieving greater financial inclusion. Initiatives have also been undertaken towards achieving greater financial inclusion in the North-Eastern region, which had perennially remained under-banked. The Reserve Bank considers that IT-enabled services can meet the challenges which need to be addressed for increasing the scope and coverage of financial inclusion such as lack of adequate infrastructure, higher transaction costs and low volumes of transactions. The Reserve Bank has already initiated action in the North-Eastern region.

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RBI Guidelines on Financial Inclusion by Extension of Banking Services Use of Business Facilitators (BFs) and Business Correspondents (BCs)
Based on queries received from certain banks, we had clarified that there is no objection to banks engaging individuals as Business Facilitators (BFs) depending on the comfort level of banks, subject to their taking adequate precautions and conducting proper due diligence before engaging individuals as BFs. In the light of the announcement made in paragraph 92 of the Budget Speech 2008-2009 by the Honorable Finance Minister, Govt. of India, it has been decided to permit banks to engage retired bank employees, ex-servicemen and retired government employees as Business Correspondents (BCs) with immediate effect, in addition to the entities already permitted, subject to appropriate due diligence. While appointing such individuals as BCs, banks may ensure that these individuals are permanent residents of the area in which they propose to operate as BCs and also institute additional safeguards as may be considered appropriate to minimise agency risk. Further, with a view to ensuring adequate supervision over the operations and activities of the BCs by banks, it has been decided that every BC will be attached to and be under the oversight of a specific bank branch to be designated as the base branch. The distance between the place of business of a BC and the base branch, ordinarily, should not exceed 15 Kms in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. In metropolitan centres, the distance could be upto 5 kms. However, in case a need is felt to relax the distance criterion, the matter can be referred to the District Consultative Committee (DCC) of the district concerned for approval. Where such relaxations cover adjoining districts, the matter may be cleared by the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC), which shall also be the concerned forum for metropolitan areas. Such requests may be considered by the DCC/SLBC on merits in respect of under-banked areas or where the population is scattered over large area and where the need to provide banking services is imperative but having a branch may not be viable, keeping in view the ability of the base branch of the bank making the request to exercise sufficient oversight on the BC. Where currently BCs are operating beyond the distance limits specified above, DCC/SLBC may be kept informed and steps may be taken to conform to the stipulated limits within six months time, unless specific approval is accorded by the DCC/SLBC on the grounds indicated in paragraph 4
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above. Needless to add, in the context of scaling up of BF/BC model which is a huge challenge given the size of the country, banks should bring to the notice of RBI any important issues to facilitate taking prompt corrective steps. The implementation of the BF/BC model should be monitored closely by controlling authorities of banks, who should specifically look into the functioning of BFs/BCs during the course of their periodical visits to the branches. Further, banks should also put in place an institutionalized system for periodically reviewing the implementation of the BF/BC model at the Board level.

Measurement of Financial Inclusion/Exclusion


While the importance of financial inclusion has been widely accepted, much less is known about how inclusive the financial systems are and who has access to which financial services. The literature on financial inclusion lacks a comprehensive measure that can be used to indicate the extent of financial inclusion across countries. Though indicators of the depth of banking system, capital markets, and insurance sector are widely available, there is less information available about the degree of financial inclusiveness. Lack of information is more conspicuous in developing countries where there is little systematic information on who is served by the formal financial sector, which financial institutions or services are the most effective at supporting access by poor households and small enterprises, or what practical and policy barriers may be hindering the accessibility. Individual indicators, viz., number of bank accounts and number of bank branches that are generally used as measures of financial inclusion, can provide only partial information on the level of financial inclusion in an economy. Financial services or products rendered by banks, postal savings banks, credit unions, finance companies, micro-finance institutions (MFIs), and other formal and quasiformal non-bank institutions generally form the basis for measuring the financial inclusion. It is often observed that people may have access to financial services, but may not wish to use them. Such voluntarily excluded persons, it is argued, should be included in measures of access even if they do not use financial services. However, even among the voluntarily excluded, this may in reality be because such services are unaffordable, unsuited to their needs, or because the potential users fear that they will be declined upon request. Among the involuntarily excluded from services such as credit, some represent high credit risk that lenders are discouraged to prudently serve them.

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There are various measures of access to finance. For instance, access to finance can be measured in terms of access to certain institutions (such as banks, insurance companies, and MFIs or in terms of access to the functions that such institutions perform, or the services that they provide (such as payments services, savings or loans and credits). Yet another approach is to look at details on the uses of specific financial products such as debit cards, credit cards, life insurance and home mortgages, among others. However, these are highly country-specific. The core access indicators often used are generally based on institutional distinctions concerning specifically the degree of formality of the financial institutions.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

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Eleventh Five Year Plan and Inclusive Growth


Despite having an impressive growth of GDP at 8.7% during the 10th plan period, making India one of the fastest growing economies in the world, large sections of the Indian population still remain poor and do not have access to basic services. The Eleventh Five Year Plan stresses the importance of inclusive growth and the plan is developed keeping this as the main theme. Some of the major findings of the Planning Commission placed in the public domain include: Growth being not perceived as being sufficiently inclusive for many groups, specially Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and minorities. The percentage of population below the official poverty line is still at 28% (302 million) in 2004-05 based on the 1973-74 per capita incomes which were much lower. National Family Health Survey 3 shows that almost 46% of the children in 0 to 3 years age group suffered from malnutrition in 2005-06. The number of illiterate persons still exceeds 304 million, making India the country with the highest number of illiterate persons in the world. A person is poor because the endowments of capital, land, labour and skills are meager and access to these is limited. The poor is trapped in the vicious circle of illiteracy, disease and illhealth preventing them from getting the most out of the one asset that they have the labour. The plan thus lays stress that access to basic facilities such as health, education, clean drinking water, etc. impacts directly on welfare, in the longer run and determines economic opportunities for the future.

Vision of Eleventh Five Year Plan


The 11th Plan provides an opportunity to restructure policies to achieve a new vision based on faster, more broad-based and inclusive growth. It is designed to reduce poverty and focus on bridging the various divides that continue to fragment our society. The 11th Plan must aim at putting the economy on a sustainable growth trajectory with a growth rate of approximately 10 per cent by the end of the Plan period. It will create productive employment at a faster pace than before, and target robust agriculture growth at 4% per year. It must seek to reduce disparities across regions and communities by ensuring access to basic physical infrastructure as well as health and education services to all. It must recognize
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gender as a cross-cutting theme across all sectors and commit to respect and promote the rights of the common person. The first steps in this direction were initiated in the middle of the 10th Plan based on the National Common Minimum Programme adopted by the government. These steps must be further strengthened and consolidated into a strategy for the 11th Plan. Rapid growth is an essential part of our strategy for two reasons. o It is only in a rapidly growing economy that we can expect to sufficiently raise the incomes of the mass of our population to bring about a general improvement in living conditions. o Rapid growth is necessary to generate the resources needed to provide basic services to all. Work done within the Planning Commission and elsewhere suggests that the economy can accelerate from 8 per cent per year to an average of around 9% over the 11th Plan period, provided appropriate policies are put in place. With population growing at 1.5% per year, 9% growth in GDP would double the real per capita income in 10 years. This must be combined with policies that will ensure that this per capita income growth is broad based, benefiting all sections of the population, especially those who have thus far remained deprived. A key element of the strategy for inclusive growth must be an all out effort to provide the mass of our people the access to basic facilities such as health, education, clean drinking water etc. While in the short run these essential public services impact directly on welfare, in the longer run they determine economic opportunities for the future. It is important to recognize that access to these basic services is not necessarily assured simply by a rise in per capita income. Governments at different levels have to ensure the provision of these services and this must be an essential part of our strategy for inclusive growth. At the same time it is important to recognize that better health and education are the necessary pre-conditions for sustained long-term growth. Even if we succeed in achieving broad-based and inclusive growth, there are many groups that may still remain marginalized. These include primitive tribal groups, adolescent girls, the elderly and the disabled who lack family support, children below the age of three and others who do not have strong lobbies to ensure that their rights are guaranteed. The 11th Plan must pay special attention to the needs of these groups.

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The private sector, including farming, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and the corporate sector, has a critical role to play in achieving the objective of faster and more inclusive growth. This sector accounts for 76% of the total investment in the economy and an even larger share in employment and output. MSMEs, in particular, have a vital role in expanding production in a regionally balanced manner and generating widely dispersed offfarm employment. Our policies must aim at creating an environment in which entrepreneurship can flourish at all levels, not just at the top. To stimulate private investment, policy induced constraints and excessive transaction costs need to be removed. To increase the number of successful entrepreneurs a competitive environment must be created which encourages new entrants and provides enough finance for efficient enterprises to expand. Competition also requires policies to curb restrictive practices, particularly those that deter entry, for example, preemptive acquisition of property. To achieve such an environment it is imperative that the reforms agenda be pursued with vigor. Though licensing controls and discretionary approvals have been greatly reduced, there are many remnants of the control regime that still need drastic overhaul. Quantitative controls, where they exist, should give way to fiscal measures and increased reliance on competitive markets subject to appropriate, transparent, and effective regulations. The burden of multiple inspections by government agencies must be removed and tax regimes rationalized. A major component of the 11th Plan must be to design policies that spur private sector investment while encouraging competition by guarding against monopolistic practices. Continued commitment to the developmental and social roles of banking is important to ensure that the benefits are widespread. While encouraging private sector growth the 11th Plan must also ensure a substantial increase in the allocation of public resources for Plan programmes in critical areas. This will support the growth strategy and ensure inclusiveness. These resources will be easier to mobilize if the economy grows rapidly. A new stimulus to public sector investment is particularly important in agriculture and infrastructure and both the Centre and the States have to take steps to mobilize resources to make this possible. The growth component of this strategy is, therefore, important for two reasons: o o It will contribute directly by raising income levels and employment It will help finance programmes that will ensure more broad based and inclusive growth.
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All this is feasible but it is by no means an easy task. Converting potential into reality is a formidable endeavor and will not be achieved if we simply continue on a business-as-usual basis. There is need for both the Centre and the States to be self critical and evaluate programmes and policies to see what is working and what is not. Programmes designed to achieve specific objectives often fail to do so even though substantial expenditure is incurred on them. It is therefore necessary to focus on outcomes rather than outlays, including a disaggregated level to examine their impact on different groups and genders. The practice of gender budgeting already begun by the central government should extend to the states, so that performance is judged on the basis of gender disaggregated data. Particular attention must also be paid to SCP/TSP guidelines for expenditure and monitoring of outcomes.

Disparity and Divide


There are many divides. Foremost among these is the divide between the Rich and the Poor. Poverty is declining, but only at a pace which is no longer acceptable given the minimalist level at which the poverty line is fixed. There is also a divide between those who have access to essential services such as health, education, drinking water, sanitation etc., and those who do not. Groups which have hitherto been excluded from our society such as SCs, STs and some minorities and OBCs, continue to lag behind the rest. Another important divide relates to Gender. It begins with the declining sex ratio, goes on to literacy differential between girls and boys and culminates in the high rate of maternal mortality. Differentials in educational status and economic empowerment are heavily biased against women. Special, focused efforts should be made to purge society of this malaise by creating an enabling environment for women to become economically, politically, and socially empowered. Measures to ensure that society recognizes a womans economic and social worth, and accounts for the worth of womens unpaid work, will be a concomitant of this. The divide between Urban and Rural India has become a truism of our times. The central government has already adopted a multi-pronged strategy to reduce this divide in its various dimensions. For example, the Bharat Nirman programme addresses gaps in rural infrastructure and covers irrigation, road connectivity, housing, water supply, electrification, and telephony; the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) attempts to ensures a social safety net as it provides guaranteed employment in rural areas and at the
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same time has the capacity to build rural infrastructure especially if resources from other programmes are pooled in; the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and National Rural Health Mission are ambitious programmes for providing elementary education and primary health services respectively. All these programmes indicate the priority being given by the Government to Rural Development and are meant to give a new hope to rural India. While making these provisions for rural India, the 11th Plan must also provide basic amenities to the growing number of poor in urban areas. Regional backwardness is another important issue. Differences across states have always been a cause of concern but there exists imbalances within states as well. Backward districts of otherwise well performing states, present a dismal picture of intra-state imbalance and neglect. The Centre and the states will together have to deal with this problem on a priority basis otherwise discontent; injustice and frustration will only breed extremism. The spread of Naxalite movement to more than hundred districts in the country is a warning sign. There is anger and frustration where communalism has left scars. This is the direct fallout of the failures of the state apparatus to create an environment where the bulk of the people reap the benefits of development. Special efforts must be made to give the people a sense of fairness, dignity and hope. The Backward Regions Grant Fund is meant to address the problem of regional imbalance so that the growth momentum is maintained.

Financing Development
One of Indias strengths is that it has a financial system comprising commercial and cooperative banks, various types of non-bank financing organizations, capital market institutions, and insurance and pension funds. Indian skills are evident in financial markets and institutions all over the world and the Indian financial system has evolved to meet many specific needs, improving considerably over the years with an expansion in depth and variety. There are several problems in areas of cooperative banking and in reaching finance to smallscale industry. Solving these problems expeditiously is critical for ensuring inclusiveness of growth. The Vaidyanathan Committee has laid out a road-map to revitalize rural credit cooperatives but the situation regarding finance for micro and small non-agricultural enterprises (MSE) is even worse than for farm credit. Unlike agriculture, MSEs have to face
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direct competition from the corporate sector which not only has access to equity markets but also appears able to preempt bank credit when it is tight. This lack of a level playing field can have serious consequences for employment if thereby the corporate sector is able to wrest markets from those MSEs which are otherwise competitive. A continuing commitment to priority lending for both agriculture and MSEs remains therefore an essential feature of the development banking required for growth. Nonetheless, the overall financial system needs to be strengthened and developed through improved regulatory mechanisms in line with international best practices and by liberalizing to encourage competition. There is an urgent need for financial innovation so to incorporate inclusive growth in the economy. The insurance and pensions sectors are major sources for long-term finance for infrastructure, and policies need to evolve to encourage the development of a healthy and well-regulated industry. The need to manage risks of various types calls for new insurance products. As Indian corporates acquire positions abroad, they will need to hedge themselves against various risks. The need to encourage innovation and new entrepreneurship will require encouragement of venture capital funds which are as yet in their infancy. A comprehensive review of policy in the area is necessary and should be undertaken in the 11th Plan. Micro-finance is another new development in which Indian institutions have acquired considerable expertise and where up scaling holds great promise to expand the nature of financial services offered to micro enterprises and also to make these the springboard for entrepreneurial development. The 11th Plan must ensure that our policies are sufficiently flexible to support the development of micro-finance. Interest rates in the micro-finance sector have to be significantly higher than in the banking sector reflecting the much higher cost of doing business. This sometimes attracts criticism but they still remain much lower than rates charged by money lender and therefore provide competition to money lenders. There have been incidents of state governments imposing restrictions on microfinance institutions in a manner which does not appreciate the ground realities. Such excessive regulation can prevent the development of a healthy and competitive micro-finance sector which could compete with usurious money lenders.

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Introduction to Financial Inclusion


Before elaborating on what exactly Financial Inclusion is we must comprehend the concept of Inclusive growth. To explain the concept of Inclusion we need to understand the meaning of INDIA and BHARAT. These are known as two names for the same country and ironically they are extreme contrasts to each other. India is said to be the Land of Opportunity, Land of Fashion Designer, Land of Information Technologies, Land of Automobile and Jet planes etc. Bharat on another hand depicts a picture which is a Land of Scarcity, Land of Snakes Charmers, Land of Traditional Crafts and Land of Bullock Carts etc. The crux is there is an India that is Global and there is a Bharat that is Local. The aim of Inclusive growth is to make India and Bharat make One, Connected and Integrated. To achieve this aim, following are some main objectives of Inclusive growth:Give equal opportunity, capabilities, opportunities and rights to all. To make our country free of poverty, deprivation and exclusion. Freedom from hunger, disease and illiteracy. Financial inclusion is not only the process of ensuring access to financial services or making available timely and adequate credit when needed by vulnerable groups, such as weaker sections and low income groups, at an affordable cost but the definition of financial inclusion is much wider. It is not only providing accessibility of the entire range of financial products and services, it must also be appropriate, it must also be fair and it must be transparent. In that sense, we can say that 95 per cent of the population is financially excluded, with most of us not knowing what an appropriate financial product is suitable for us. Today, what we are seeking to do is first improving access to various financial products and services for the entire population and ensuring that such access is provided by mainstream institutional players. Enabling people to get credit from small institutions, moneylenders and the like is not financial inclusion.

What does Financial Inclusion mean?


One of the major steps taken by government for poverty alleviation is Financial Inclusion. Role of Financial Inclusion is very wide and covers various aspects of the financial need of an individual. Eminent personalities like Mr. Pranab Mukharjee, Mr. C. Rangarajan Mr. Duvvuri Subbarao, Mrs. Usha Thorat and Dr. K.C.Chakrabarty given their definition, explaining the scope of Financial

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Inclusion. I see Financial Inclusion as a Mechanism that bridges the financial gap of an Individual. Before elaborating it we must comprehend the meaning of Gaps. Financial Gaps according to me represents the lack of financing opportunity and improper financial infrastructure for vulnerable group who need formal system of finance at an affordable cost. Apart from this other factor which contributes in widening the gap between the financial institution and investors are lack of awareness about the financial products, unaffordable products, high transaction costs, and products which are not convenient, inflexible, not customized and of low quality. According to Mr. C. Rangarajan, the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Inclusion defines financial inclusion as Process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost.

It is said Financial Inclusion will promote thrift and develops culture of saving and also enables efficient payment mechanism strengthening the resource base of the financial institution which benefits the economy as resources become available for efficient payment mechanism and allocation. In Financial Inclusion two terminologies are used very commonly, the first thing is a check-in account, what we in the system call a No-Frills Account. And the next stage is immediate credit. Today, what the poor wants is accessibility to immediate credit. As most of the data shows that 80 per cent of the credit requirement of the poor is not for business or entrepreneurship but, it is for meeting a financial emergency, like health, or urgent domestic needs. While the Reserve Bank of India in 2005 facilitated that every no-frills account can be opened with a readymade overdraft, the question that arises is how many banks have opened a no-frills account with a readymade overdraft facility. This immediate credit stage is followed by introduction of various savings products, i.e. other types of savings, followed by remittances and payments services. This is followed by insurance, especially health insurance, mortgage, life insurance, housing loans, and then by financial advisory services. Entrepreneurship credit comes at the last.

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Who are Financially Excluded?


They are basically the underprivileged sections of the society, i.e., farmers, small vendors, agricultural or industrial labourers, people engaged in unorganized sectors, unemployed people, women, children, old people, and the physically challenged. The extent of financial exclusion become clear from these figures: only 40 per cent of the people have a check-in account, 20 per cent have taken life insurance products, 0.6 per cent has taken non-life insurance products; only 2 per cent have access to credit cards. This gives us the scope of business opportunities that are there if we can reach out to all the people. Today, geographically, only 5.2 per cent of the countrys villages have a bank branch. It is not that efforts have not been made earlier to promote financial inclusion. One of the prime aims of the cooperative movement was bringing financial inclusion. The setting up of State Bank of India in 1956, the nationalization of banks, the introduction of the Lead Bank Scheme, establishing Regional Rural Banks, evaluation of the Service Area Approach, and formation of Self-Help Groups were all steps taken to take banking services to the general masses. But, despite such measures only 10 per cent of the population has access to the institutional credit system. A major reason for our failure to promote financial inclusion has been Technology. Without technology we cannot reach out to the people. Banking technology is only of recent origin and business delivery model is yet to evolve. Today, it is clear that we will not be able to promote financial inclusion with a branch-based delivery mechanism. We have to experiment with new types of delivery mechanisms, what we can call the ICT-Based Delivery Mechanism.

Here, the problem is that we do not have a business model as to how such a mechanism will be viable. One must remember here that giving a subsidy does not necessarily lead to a better delivery mechanism. So, it is important that any service that seeks to cover the poor and the excluded must be at an affordable cost but never at a loss. We must not exploit the poor, but he must pay the full cost otherwise there will be leakages. Any such delivery mechanism will be ineffective and the system will be doing greatest disservice to the poor. When we say that we must give the credit to poor at a cheaper rate, we have to realize that if the formal system fails to give credit to the excluded, the alternative is a far costlier option.

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The 11th Five Year Plan also talks about inclusive growth. Inclusive growth cannot come without financial inclusion. Today, globally, the mainstream financial institutions have realized that the poor are bankable. And the technology to make this possible is also there. The Banking Correspondent Model is one of the most revolutionary reforms which have taken place in our banking system. However, it is one that we are not taking the full advantage of. Under the KYC/GCC guidelines, the poor need not go every time for a transaction to a bank branch. For opening branches in unbanked rural centres, the rules have also been liberalized. Similarly, we have a liberalized policy for ATMs. Today, no license is needed for setting up ATMs. But the ATMs will work only if bank have customers. We have opened lots of no-frills accounts, but not even 1 per cent of such accounts have been extended overdrafts despite the rules allowing this. Simply opening a no-frills account is not financial inclusion. It is just the beginning. The available statistics and this Study reveal that we have opened over 28.23 million no-frills accounts, but less than 11 per cent of them are active. Opening no-frills accounts will not give any help to the poor if they do not conduct any transactions. Today, the number of rural bank branches is only 31,727 as against more than 600,000 villages in the country. Similarly, the number of ATMs is 44,857 with a majority of them being in metros and urban centres. Again, there are 470,237 points of sale (POS) but these are of little use to the rural poor as they cannot deliver cash, which is what they need. Today, a bank branch covers a population of 16,000. So, it is clear that bank branch-based delivery model will not work. We have to go for a different delivery mechanism.

What are the Problems and Difficulties?


The problem is that while there are islands of excellence, large ocean of deprivation and nonperformance remain. It is clear that scaling-up of activities is just not possible. This is because of the fact that transaction costs are high. But, here it should be clear that such costs should be shared by all stakeholders. It must be shared by the State if it feels that it will lead to development. It has to be shared by the bank, provided they feel that there is a future business in this. It must be borne by the customer also if he gets the banking service or product he needs at his doorstep. The key here is to effectively work out this cost. Today, with the technology we have on our side, we can provide all State services and benefits directly to the poor. But there is no reason why the banks should not be paid for this as it helps the State to reduce its cost of administration of such service. Similarly, if a bank feels that this will become a profitable business in future, it should be first prepared to invest in
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this business. So, it is important that we work out an appropriate business model for promoting financial inclusion. It is true that the existing Banking Correspondent model is too restrictive. So changes are to be made in the existing guidelines to make it more flexible and operative. But easing the policy is only one part of it. For inclusion to succeed, we need to be clear that we want inclusion to happen and we are ready to work for it. We may give everything but if we dont have the determination and involvement and if we do not believe that it is a viable business, we will not succeed. Strong collaboration among banks, technical service providers, BC service providers is what is required. Currently, this is lacking. Further, if we believe inclusive growth and financial inclusion is part of the development process, without the involvement of the State at the implementation (local) level, it will not succeed. An example of this is Punjab National Bank, when we started doing financial inclusion, we started with 30 pilot projects and in one year we could open only 2 lakh no-frills accounts. But in Rajasthan when we co-opted the State Government, we opened 26 lakh no-frills accounts in just 40 days. Also, given the size and scale of the task on hand, it is important that big players in the technological field become part of the process. Their interest in this area is vital. We require much larger institutional players in the area of technology, research and development, and for evolving cost-effective business solutions to ensure success of financial inclusion.

Today, when we are in the midst of a global meltdown it is the right time to focus on financial inclusion. The meltdown globally has brought more focus on inclusive growth. Today, everybodys attention has shifted from the West to the East, from the US/Europe to India, China, and Asia, and this is an opportunity. Focus on domestic consumption and investment - This will not come without linking the people with the banking system. Focus on increased social sector spending - If we want to make spending more productive and more efficient, its delivery has to be through a bank account. Today, everybody is saying that we must give subsidies directly to the poor. In fact, Dr Meghnad Desai, the noted economist said that everything should be given to the poor in cash and put directly into their bank accounts. This is because this is much more beneficial to the poor. Financial inclusion is necessary not only for the poor; it is a must for ensuring the sustainability of our society.

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Understanding Key Stakeholders in Financial Inclusion


One has to first define who the stakeholders are: viz., banks, NBFCs, insurance companies, market players, pension funds, postal system. Then define the regulators such as Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI); institutions and think-tanks and certainly the government. Unless all these stakeholders come together and there is some kind of a broad consensus on what needs to be done, the purpose of the study would not be adequately served. 1. Government Planning Commission Ministry of Communications & Information (MoCIT) Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) Ministry of Finance (MoF) Economic Advisory Council 2. Players Banks NBFCs Insurance Companies Market Players Pension Funds Postal System 3. Regulators RBI IRDA TRAI SEBI 4. Academia IIT IISc

5. Institutions & Think Tanks NABARD Banking Codes and Standards Board of India IDRBT NIPFP IGIDR ICRIER, NCAER, CMIE, IDF, BCG etc. 6. Civil Society NGOs MPFI E-Communities 7. Industry Technology Providers, (FINO, Integra, A Little World, Atom, Nokia, Intel, etc) BCs & BFs ICT industry Telcos

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RBIs Recent Initiative for Greater Financial Inclusion


Reserve Bank of India initiative aim to connect people with banking system and not just opening account has given impetus to greater financial inclusion. This includes meeting the small credit needs of the people, giving them access to the payments system and providing remittance facilities. This has led to some notable developments: No Frills Accounts: In November 2005, RBI asked banks to offer a basic banking nofrills account with low or zero minimum balances and minimum charges to expand the outreach of such accounts to the low income groups. Easier Credit facility: Banks were asked to introduce a General Purpose Credit Card (GCC) facility up to Rs. 25,000. However, total number of GCCs issued by banks as at endMarch, 2009 was only 0.15 million. Simpler KYC Norms: In order to ensure that people belonging to the low income groups, both in urban and rural areas, do not encounter difficulties in opening bank accounts, the 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) procedure for opening accounts was simplified for those accounts with balances not exceeding Rs 50,000 and credits thereto not exceeding Rs.100,000 in a year. Use of Information Technology: Banks have been urged to scale up IT initiatives for financial inclusion speedily while ensuring that solutions are highly secure, amenable to audit, and follow widely-accepted open standards to ensure eventual inter-operability among the different systems. Two of the important initiatives are: o Smart cards for opening bank accounts with biometric identification. These help the customers get banking services near their doorstep. o Link to mobile hand held electronic devices for banking transactions. In October 2008, the RBI advised banks on issues relating to technology, security standards, and customer protection. EBT through Banks: The Reserve Bank is in consultation with state governments to encourage them to adopt Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) by banks.

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100% Financial Inclusion Drive: The Reserve Bank launched a financial inclusion drive targeting one district in each state for 100% financial inclusion. To make it viable RBI advised banks to: o Ensure provision of banking services nearer to the location of the no-frills account holders through a variety of channels. o Provide GCC/small overdrafts along with no-frills accounts to encourage the account holders to actively operate the accounts. o Conduct awareness drives of the facilities offered to the no-frills account holders. o Review the extent of coverage in districts declared as 100 per cent financially included. o Efficiently leverage on the available technology enabled financial inclusion solutions.

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CHAPTER 2
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION

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Financial Inclusion through Information Technology


The use of IT solutions for providing banking facilities at doorstep holds the potential for scalability of the FI initiatives. Pilot projects have been initiated using smart cards for opening bank accounts with bio metric identification. Link to mobile or hand held connectivity devices ensure that the transactions are recorded in the banks books on real time basis. Some State Governments are routing social security payments as also payments under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme through such smart cards (see pictures below). The same delivery channel can be used to provide other financial services like low cost remittances and insurance. The use of IT also enables banks to handle the enormous increase in the volume of transactions for millions of households for processing, credit scoring, credit record and follow up.

Point of Transaction Machine

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Pensioners with Bio-metric cards line-up to receive payments

Biometric validation of Smart Card

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Role of ICT in FI
To be able to ensure that the challenges of banking the unbanked are met effectively and converted into growing and sustainable business for banks, there is no alternative to adoption of ICT solutions on a very large scale and range. ICT solutions are required to capture customer details, facilitate unique identification, ensure reliable and uninterrupted connectivity to remote areas and across multiple channels of delivery, offer multiple financial products (banking, insurance, capital market) through same delivery channel while ensuring consumer protection, develop comprehensive and reliable credit information system so essential for efficient credit delivery and credit pricing, develop appropriate products tailored to local needs and segments, provide customer education and counseling , enable use of multi media and multi -language for dissemination of information and advice.

ICT for FI - RBI initiatives


I now turn to the specific initiatives of RBI in regard to ICT for Financial Inclusion. The very first initiative was emphasizing the use of IT solutions while adopting the agency or BC model for financial inclusion. A paper placed on the RBI website has envisaged a scheme with RBI support for providing satellite connectivity for remote area branches. The reports of three working groups set up by RBI to consider support to RRBs and UCBs in computerizing their operations and adopt IT solutions for financial inclusion have been placed in public domain for comments. These groups have recommended that the IDRBT could offer interest free loans to UCBs and RRBs for adoption of IT. Based on comments and response RBI will be firming up these schemes. Recognizing the penetration of mobile phones (including amongst the low income population) and the enormous opportunities they offer in extending the banking outreach. RBI had placed a paper on mobile banking in the public domain and the guidelines are now being finalized. The NFS is able to offer nationwide networking of ATMs and can facilitate banking transactions including remittances through ATMs linked to the NFS. Effective from April 1, 2009 a customer will be able to use any ATM (including other bank ATMs) to operate his /her account at no cost. Other initiatives include those aimed at ensuring quicker, safer currency and funds transfer. In fact RBI has put on its website yesterday an approach paper on rationalization of service charges for usage of electronic products, which would facilitate easier movement of funds at lower costs.

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Electronic Benefit Payments


Recognizing the several advantages of using bank accounts for disbursal of government benefits, many State Governments have decided to disburse NREGA payments social security benefits electronically through no frills bank accounts and in some States with such accounts operated through smart cards with biometric identification. A Committee set up by RBI examined the various models through which such payments can be made and has recommended a bank led model with sharing of costs between Government and banks. Appropriate support from the RBI or the Financial Inclusion Technology Fund could also be thought of in the initial stages. Such accounts that have been opened to receive government benefits/payments can become the base for a host of other financial services and facilitate the objective of financial inclusion.

Regulatory framework
The regulations relating to IT solutions for banking services in general and financial inclusion in particular relate to ensuring integrity of banking system and ensuring customer protection. These cover customer identification/authentication, customer confidentiality/ privacy, KYC/AML issues, outsourcing, banks responsibility for their agents, ensuring interoperability and open standards, imaging standards and adherence to payments system regulations.

Role of Technology
Technology can play an important role in reducing operating cost of providing banking services, particularly in the rural and low income groups segments. The technology, if blended appropriately with the right business model and policy, holds the key to extending affordable, viable and sustainable access to finance for the population at large. There are three broad types of technologies that have been identified to drive the growth of financial services. These are Pro-Poor New Information and Communication Technology, primarily low-cost cell phones. ATMs and other Point of Sales Devices. Smart plastic card.

The centralized data processing system and the non-conventional methods based on computer systems, which do not require uninterrupted electric supply and radio frequency network, can
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significantly reduce the cost of extending financial services. There are a number of cases where banks have expanded the coverage of banking services to remote and un-banked areas with affordable infrastructure, while keeping operating costs low with the use of appropriate technology. Technology has the potential to lead to new delivery mechanisms and business models. For instance, technology will allow branchless banking and establishment of new partnerships between financial service providers and a range of other service providers that was not feasible before to provide services to clients in remote areas and low-population density areas. Mobile phone-based services are revolutionizing micro-finance services in a number of countries (Asian Development Bank, 2007). Mobile banking (or mobile payment) is a term used for performing balance checks, account transactions, payments, etc. via a mobile device such as a mobile phone, PDA or other such device. Most of the mobile payment platforms fall into four categories: Mobile banking enabling users to perform banking transactions using mobile phone like, balance checks, fund transfers, bill payments Remote purchase Person to person transfers Point of sale, i.e., using phones to pay for goods at merchant location. These services can be provided using various available connectivity technologies, each one of which has its own pros and cons (Table 1(7.37)). However, the extent to which technology will be integrated into the financial service industry at the low end will depend on supportive government policies and the quality of the infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.

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Different technologies have been successfully adopted in many countries to promote financial inclusion. Banks in India have initiated pilot projects utilizing smart cards/mobile technology to increase their outreach. Biometric methods for uniquely identifying customers are also being increasingly adopted. Banks are also increasingly adopting technological solutions for delivery of credit at affordable price and to a wider section of the population. State Bank of India (SBI) initiated a project called the SBI Tiny Card Accounts (SBITCAs) recently in Aizwal. The project is a combination of no-frillsaccount and BCs/BFs model. The SBITCAs are operated through new generation mobile phones based on near-field communication (NFC) technology, enhanced with fingerprint recognition software and attached to receipt printer. The card allows activation of transaction of funds for the purpose of micro-savings (SBI-tiny no-frills pre-paid account), cash
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deposits and withdrawal, micro-credit (including KCCs, GCCs), money transfer (account-to-account within the system), micro-insurance, cashless payments to merchants, SHG savings-cum-credit accounts and attendance systems, disbursements of Government benefits like the national rural employment guarantee scheme, for equated monthly installments (EMIs), utility payments, coupons, vouchers and tickets, loyalty points, automatic fare collection systems, portable and fixed positions for front-end devices (fully inter-operable).

Technology and Financial Inclusion


In the Philippines, two cell phone companies Smart and Globe Telecoms offer innovative cell phone based facilities, also called electronic wallet, to transfer money, pay bills, and make payments for purchases from stores, among other things, called Smart Money and G-Cash, respectively. In February 2005, the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) launched a project called Text-A-Payment (TAP). TAP is an innovative mobile technology product that uses the SMS technology of Globe Telecom (powered by G-Cash) to pay for micro finance loan payments of borrowers. TAP seeks to bring in new and low cost technology tools to improve efficiency and outreach. Small borrowers can utilize the service for payments of their micro-finance loans. The other applications of TAP are remote deposit taking, cash withdrawal, international and domestic remittances, purchases and bills payment. In South Africa, banking institutions, together with mobile phone companies, have begun to expand access to financial services targeting low-income customers with an interest-bearing bank account accessible through mobile phones, and debit card with which they can make purchases at retail outlets and deposit or withdraw money at ATMs. Customers can use their mobile phones to make person-to-person payments and transfer money. Prodem, the first micro-finance organization to create a chartered bank, BancoSol, in Bolivia started Prodem Smart ATM, a smart card cum ATM recently. The smart card stores customers account balance every time the transaction is made using the card. This enables Prodem Smart ATM to operate even in the absence of internet connectivity, thereby, making it an ideal instrument to extend financial services in many rural parts of Bolivia that lack the technological infrastructure for a widereaching, online network.
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CHAPTER 3
FINANCIAL INCLUSION THROUGH SHGs AND MICRO FINANCE

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SHG Models
Generally, the SHGs need self-help promoting institutions (SHPIs) to promote and nurture them. These SHPIs include various NGOs, banks, farmers clubs, government agencies, self-employed individuals and federations of SHGs. However, some SHGs have also been formed without any assistance from such SHPIs. There are three different models that have emerged under the linkage programme: Model I: This involves lending by banks directly to SHGs without intervention/facilitation by any NGO. Model II: This envisages lending by banks directly to SHGs with facilitation by NGOs and other agencies. Model III: This involves lending, with an NGO acting as a facilitator and financing agency. Model II accounted for around 74 per cent of the total linkage at end-March 2007, while Models I and III accounted for around 20 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.

Understanding SHG Bank Linkage Programme and Their Role in Financial Inclusion
A Self Help Group (SHG) is a small, economically homogeneous and affinity group of rural poor which comes together to: Save small amounts regularly. Mutually agree to contribute to a common fund. Meet their emergency needs. Have collective decision making. Resolve conflicts through collective leadership and mutually discussion. Provide collateral free loans on term decided by the group at the market driven rates. SHG a form of Microfinance has been long recognized and practiced in India as a tool for extending banking services to the poor to enable them to save and invest or partake of credit thereby facilitating them to break the chain of poverty. Several micro-credit schemes have brought rich rewards to the beneficiaries. With hardly any non-performing asset (NPAs) in micro-credit, more and more banks are looking at increasing their operations in this area in a big way.
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The Self Help Group (SHG) which provides a good Bank Linkage programme is a major plank of the strategy for delivering financial services to the poor in a sustainable manner. As at the end of March 2007, as many as 2.92 million SHGs have been credit linked with banks, benefitting more than 40 million poor families; 80 per cent of members of Self Help Groups constitute women. Initially there was a slow progress in the programme up to 1999 as only 32,995 groups were credit linked during the period 1992 to 1999. Since then the programme has been growing rapidly and the number of SHGs financed increased from 81,780 in 1999-2000 to more than 6.20 lakh in 2005-06 and 6.87 lakhs in 2006- 07 (Table-2 below). Year
2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07

No. of SHGs financed Cumulative no. of SHGs during the year (in Lakhs) financed (in Lakhs)
1.98 2.56 3.62 5.39 6.20 6.87 4.61 7.17 10.79 16.18 22.38 29.25

Impact of Bank Linked - SHG Programme


The main findings reveal that the programme has following impacts: Reduced the incidence of poverty through increase in income, and also enabled the poor to build assets and thereby reduce their vulnerability. Enabled households that have access to it to spend more on education than non-client households. Families participating in the programme have reported better school attendance and lower drop out rates. Empowered women by enhancing their contribution to household income, increasing the value of their assets and generally by giving them better control over decisions that affect their lives.

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Reduced child mortality, improved maternal health and the ability of the poor to combat disease through better nutrition, housing and health - especially among women and children. Contributed to a reduced dependency on informal money lenders and other non-institutional sources. Facilitated significant research into the provision of financial services for the poor and helped in building capacity at the SHG level. Finally, it has offered space for different stakeholders to innovate, learn and replicate. As a result, some NGOs have added micro-insurance products to their portfolios, a couple of SHG federations have experimented with undertaking livelihood activities and grain banks have been successfully built into the SHG model in the Eastern Region. SHGs in some areas have employed local accountants for keeping their books, and IT applications are now being explored by almost all for better management information systems (MIS), accounting and internal controls.

Issues in Bank Linked SHG Programmes


Regional Imbalance Historically, there has been a concentration of SHGs in Southern Sates. The share of cumulative SHGs linked in southern states has been at around 60 per cent of the total SHG credit linkages in the country. To correct this anomaly, NABARD had taken up intensification of SHG-bank linkage programme in 13 identified priority states which account for 70 per cent of rural poor population, namely, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttaranchal, Assam and Himachal Pradesh in the year 2004-05. Focused attention was paid to these states so as to flood the market by promoting a large number of quality SHGs. Quality of SHGs - With fast all-round spread of the SHG-bank linkage programme having credit linkages with a huge number of SHGs, the quality of SHGs has come under stress and is reportedly getting impaired, in certain areas. This is reflected in poor maintenance of books and accounts at SHG level and diminishing skill sets on part of SHG members in managing their groups. Significant financial investment, capacity-building and technical support is required for meeting this challenge. NABARD has taken up various measures like barefoot account, computer munshi, smart card, IRV programmes to combat this challenge. The IRV scheme is taken up with a view to finding solutions for the NGO deficit
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areas where motivated and suitably oriented individuals can assume the NGOs role as well as hand holding the SHGs. Impact of SGSY on SHG-bank linkage programme There is no subsidy element in SHG-bank linkage programme, whereas the government is giving some amount of subsidiary to the SHGs promoted under SGSY. From field-level feedback, it is found that many members of existing SHGs are inclined to join SGSY groups in view of the subsidiaries being offered and as a result quite a few quality SHGs do disintegrate. Various studies point out that the SGYS groups lack quality and the poor do not get long term benefit under the programme.

Recent Initiatives by NABARD


NABARD has been playing a crucial developmental role for the micro finance sector in India. NABARD has been organising/ sponsoring training programmes and exposure visits for the benefit of bank officials, NGOs, SHGs and Government agencies to enhance their effectiveness in the field of micro finance. The best practices and innovations with respect to the sector are widely circulated among Government agencies, banks and NGOs. NABARD also provides support for capacity building, exposure and awareness building of the SHGs and NGOs. NABARD launched the Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP) for skill development in March 2006. The basic objective was to enhance the capacities of matured SHGs to take up micro enterprises through appropriate skill up-gradation. The programme envisaged development of enterprise management skills in existing or new livelihood activities, both in farm and non-farm sectors. The duration of training can vary between 3 to 13 days depending upon the objective and the nature of training. During the year 2007-08, 394 MEDPs were conducted covering 9,182 SHG members on activities like bee-keeping, mushroom cultivation, horticulture and floriculture, vermi-compost/ organic manure preparation and dairy. As on March 31, 2008, 674 MEDPs had been conducted covering 16,761 participants. In 2005-06, a pilot project for promotion of micro-enterprises was launched among members of matured SHGs. This is being implemented by 14 NGOs acting as micro-enterprise promotion
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agency (MEPA) in nine districts, viz., Ajmer (Rajasthan), Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), Madurai (Tamil Nadu), Mysore (Karnataka), Panchmahal (Gujarat), 24 north Pargana (West Bengal), Puri (Orissa) and Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh). The project is being implemented by each NGO in two blocks in each of the selected district. As on March 31, 2008, 2,759 micro-enterprises were established under the project involving bank credit of Rs.238 lakh. NABARD also provides marketing support to the SHGs for exhibiting their products. During the year 2007-08, NABARD supported three exhibitions of products prepared by various SHGs at Bhopal, Chennai and Navi Mumbai involving grant of Rs.3.8 lakh. In addition, NABARD also provides promotional grant support to NGOs, RRBs, DCCBs, farmers clubs and individual volunteers and assists in developing capacity building of various partner agencies. NABARD has been making efforts to increase the number of partner institutions as self-help promoting institutions (SHPIs). NABARD launched a pilot project in December 2003 to link post-offices with the SHGs with the objective of examining the feasibility of utilizing the vast network of post offices in rural areas for disbursement of credit to rural poor on an agency basis. The SHG Federations are emerging as important players in nurturing SHG, increasing the bargaining power of group members and livelihood promotion. The features and functions of SHG federation models promoted in the country vary, depending on the promoting agencies. Recognizing the growing role of the SHG Federations and their value addition to SHG functioning, NABARD, during the year 2007-08 decided to support the Federations on a model neutral basis. Support is extended to the Federation by way of grant assistance for training, capacity building and exposure visits of SHG members. NABARD has also formulated the broad norms for deciding the grant of financial assistance to SHG Federations. During the year 2007-08, grant assistance amounting to Rs 10 lakhs was sanctioned to two federations. Recognizing the role played by MFIs, in extending micro finance services in the unbanked areas, NABARD extends support to these institutions through grant and loan based assistance. NABARD has been selectively supporting MFIs for experimenting with various micro finance models such as replication of Grameen Model, NGO networking (bigger NGOs supporting smaller NGOs), credit unions and SHGs federations, among others, to meet credit requirements of the unreached poor. NABARD provides loan funds in the form of revolving fund assistance (RFA) on a selective basis to MFIs to be used by them for on-lending to SHGs or individuals. This loan has to be repaid along
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with service charge, within a period of 5 to 6 years. During the year 2007-08, RFA amounting to Rs.8 crore was sanctioned to six agencies taking the cumulative credit sanctioned to Rs.36 crore covering 35 agencies.

In order to identify, classify and rate MFIs, NABARD introduced a scheme for commercial banks and RRBs to enable them to avail the services of accredited rating agencies for rating of MFIs. Banks can avail the services of credit rating agencies like CRISIL, M-CRIL, ICRA, CARE and Planet Finance for rating of MFIs and avail financial assistance by way of grant to the extent of 100 per cent of the total professional fees of the credit rating agency, subject to a maximum of Rs. one lakh. The assistance is available for the first rating of MFIs with a minimum loan outstanding of Rs.50 lakh and maximum loan outstanding of Rs.500 lakh. During the year 2007-08, rating support amounting to Rs 3 lakh to four agencies was provided. Recognizing the need for up scaling the micro finance intervention in the country, the Union Finance Minister, in the budget for the year 2000-01, announced creation of a Micro Finance Development Fund (MFDF). The objective of the MFDF is to facilitate and support the orderly growth of the micro finance sector through diverse modalities for enlarging the flow of financial services to the poor, particularly for women and vulnerable sections of society, consistent with sustainability. Consequently MFDF with a corpus of Rs.100 crore was established in NABARD. The Reserve Bank and NABARD contributed Rs.40
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crore each to the fund, while the balance was contributed by eleven select public sector banks. As per the Union Budget announcement for the year 2005-06, the MFDF was re-designated as Micro Finance Development and Equity Fund (MFDEF) with an increased corpus of Rs.200 crore. The fund is being managed by a board consisting of representatives of NABARD, commercial banks and professionals with domain knowledge. The Reserve Bank is a member of the Advisory Committee of the MFDEF. The MFDEF maintained by NABARD is used for promotion of micro finance through scaling-up of the SHG-bank linkage programme; extending RFA and capital support to MFIs and undertake various promotional initiatives. During 2007-08, Rs.27 crore was utilized from the fund towards micro finance related activities.

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The North-Eastern Council (NEC), Shillong parked a fund of Rs.50 lakh with NABARD during the year 2007-08 for facilitating miscellaneous training programmes involving Government/bank officials, NGOs, SHGs from States in the NER and Sikkim. During the year 2007-08, 73 programmes were sanctioned out of the fund involving a total grant assistance of Rs.45 lakh.

Micro Finance Initiatives by SIDBI


SIDBI launched its micro finance programme in February 1994 on a pilot basis. The programme provided small doses of credit funds to the NGOs all across the country. NGOs acted as financial intermediaries and on-lent funds to their clients. Limited amount of capacity building grant was also provided to the NGOs. With a view to reducing the procedural bottlenecks, expanding the outreach, meeting the huge unmet demand of the sector and striving towards its formalization, SIDBI reoriented its policy and approach to create a sustainable micro finance model that would significantly increase the flow of credit to the sector. To take the agenda forward, the SIDBI Foundation for Micro Credit (SFMC) was created in January 1999. SFMCs mission is to create a national network of strong, viable and sustainable Micro Finance Institutions from the informal and formal financial sector to provide micro finance services to the poor, especially women. SIDBI was one of the first institutions that identified and recognised NGO/MFI route as an effective delivery channel for reaching financial services to those segments of the population not reached by the formal banking network. As a result of bulk lending funds provided, coupled with intensive capacity building support to the entire micro finance sector, it has come to occupy a significant position in the Indian micro finance sector. Today, SIDBI is one of the largest providers of micro finance through the MFIs. SIDBIs pilot programme of 1994 brought out one of the major shortcomings in micro finance lending programme. It showed that collateral-based lending does not work insofar as micro finance is concerned. NGOs/ MFIs acting as financial intermediaries do not have tangible collateral to offer as security for the loans. Doing away with collateral-based lending in MF necessitated that a mechanism be developed which would minimise the risks associated with lending. With a view to catering to this objective, SIDBI pioneered the concept of capacity assessment rating (CAR) for the MFIs. As part of its developmental agenda, SIDBI encouraged a private sector development

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consulting firm to develop a rating tool for the MFIs which was rolled out in 1999. Today, rating is a widely accepted tool in this sector. SIDBI has also succeeded in developing a market for rating services. Two mainstream rating agencies, viz., CRISIL and CARE have also started undertaking micro finance ratings, besides M-CRIL. SIDBI has also adopted the institutional capacity assessment tool (I-CAT) of access development services (ADS), a private sector consulting organisation, for rating of start-up/small and mid-sized MFIs. SIDBI introduced a product called transformation loan in 2003 to enable the MFIs to transform themselves from an informal set up to more formal entities. This loan is a quasi-equity product with longer repayment period and features for conversion into equity at a later date, when the MFI decides to convert itself into a corporate entity. Consequently, a number of MFIs went ahead with the transformation and some of them have now grown significantly and are serving millions of clients across several states. Recognizing the need to offer the MFIs equity capital so as to adequately capitalise them, SIDBI set up a fund of Rs. 50 crore which was christened as SIDBI Growth Fund for MFIs. The fund takes care of equity investment in large corporate MFIs, as also equity capital in start-up/smaller institutions, along with quasi-equity support for MFIs on the verge of transformation. SIDBI also supports incubation of potential local community based organisations through twotier/umbrella NGOs/MFIs. The approach not only helps SIDBI to increase its outreach through double intermediation but also enables it to channelise finance to smaller NGOs that otherwise may not meet the criteria for availing direct assistance from SIDBI. SIDBI has also been able to nurture and develop a few new intermediaries set up by experienced professionals. Another approach in this direction involves incubation of new start-up MFIs promoted by first-generation development/micro finance professionals. The incubation support is either given through wellreputed management institutes or through institutions specialising in capacity building and technical support services. As at March 31, 2008, the SIDBI had 58 partners in the underserved States, out of its total partner base of 104. The increased thrust on development of underserved States has also resulted in the share of these States going up from 19 per cent (Rs.38 crore) in the total outstanding micro finance

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portfolio of SIDBI in the financial year 2005 to over 31 per cent (Rs.299 crore) in the financial year 2007-08. Substantial growth of the micro finance sector would be possible only if the capacities of all stakeholders are built up adequately. SIDBI has taken some initiatives in this direction. One such initiative has been in the area of human resources where SIDBI has tried to address the issue both from the demand and supply side factors. On the demand side, MFIs are encouraged to hire young management/accounting graduates from reputed institutes through campus placement and SIDBI provides partial salary support for these young professionals (YPs) for a period of two years. Additionally, MFIs are also provided grant funds for hiring trained and experienced professionals as second line managers. This helps in bringing and retaining the talent in the micro finance sector. On the supply side, some of the management training institutes have been provided support in the form of training and exposure visit of their faculty members to reputed national and international training programmes and other MFIs across the world. Besides, SIDBI was instrumental in bringing international experts to lend support to these institutes for developing a course on micro finance that has been incorporated as an elective in their rural management courses. Other major initiatives towards capacity building of the sector comprised developing the capacities of consultants and technical service providers (TSPs), developing a common chart of accounts for the sector, creating gender and environment awareness, promoting innovations and action research on emerging concepts.

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CHAPTER 4 LIVE STUDY


Launching of Pilot Project in Raebareily Districts (Lucknow Region)

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PART A RESEARCH METHODOLOGY


Research methodology that is used here was purely exploratory because we know it is used when one is seeking insight into the general nature of the problem possible decision alternative and relevant variables that need to be considered. The Research methodology is highly flexible, unstructured and qualitative. Exploratory research hypothesis are either vague or ill defined, or they dont exit at all. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The aim of this research is to study the Impact of Financial Inclusion on customers covered and ways to make it more effective. The research has accomplished the following objectives: To conduct a literature review on various recommendations by committees on Financial Inclusion, understanding Financial Inclusion, role of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in enabling low cost banking for rural people and other relevant data pertaining to Financial Inclusion. To conduct field study in Raebareily District, so as to critically understand and experience the effectiveness of Financial Inclusion. RESEARCH QUESTIONS What are the efforts of Government of India to make Financial Inclusion more effective? What is the role and contribution of Information Communication and Technology towards the development of branch less and low cost banking in the rural India? Whether various modes of channelizing credit like Micro-Finance, Bank Linked Self Help Groups etc are effective in Inclusive growth? RESEARCH APPROACH The method of Inductive research focuses on the inductive interpretation of thought, reasoning which can change any specific forms of observations into a general theory. Although by this method
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researchers can view things in a general way. If the researchers analyze any forms of observation in the society, then they have to make an assumption on it, for that they have to conduct a experimental based survey to check his assumption to reach towards a certain conclusion. In addition to that the deductive research is a process by which deductive thought can change the ordinary theory into new hypothesis. In relation to this, researchers thought goes from one point to the other i.e. from general to the specific. He may form perception regarding the human behavior or some observable fact and after that he may go further to collect the data to come to a certain conclusion. While working on a certain piece of thought his primary objective may be to form a new thinking to test the hypothesis. If the data helps this thinking then we can assume that his theory is correct. The Inductive method helps in building a generalized approach about specific events. It opens with the singular thought and proceeds for the universal implication. It makes an explanation about the workings of the thought in a pure, dispassionate and neutral way, rather than on pre assumed notions. RESEARCH METHOD Quantitative research deals with the calculating things, and to find an estimated difference between various groups. Qualitative research has its origin in social science and is more apprehensive with understanding approach of how people behave in regards to their knowledge, beliefs, fear and attitude etc. Qualitative research impasses on giving much attention on the dynamics of research pattern to give the researcher, valuable insights which might have been missed by any other method. This method not only provides a valuable insight of the information to certain questions but also increases the area of quantitative research methods. Focus groups For this method the researcher brings out some of the interesting features. The group size is kept precisely small, so that its members can express their views freely on any topic. A solution guide is
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always prepared before the actual implementation of thought into action to ensure that a range of aspects of the topic can be explained in a convenient way. The discussion can be frequently taperecorded for further use and analysis. Direct observation The collected information in the form of Data can be stored by an external observer, transferred to the non-participant observer or it can be collected by a participant observer, who has the exact knowledge of working in the process. In this type of study the researchers motto is to become a part of the population study so that he finds out a detailed approach in the understanding, values and beliefs. In-depth interviews Interviews have the same perception on focus group, but subjects are studied separately for an interview. Interviews in qualitative research have a wide range of inquiry. They generally ask the same set of predetermined questions, which would help in conducting a quantitative survey. Withstanding the view they encourage subjects to express their views and feelings at certain length. One particular technique in the critical incident study is in which subjects are asked to give their views on real events that giving a generalized view. This study also helps in focusing more on the beliefs, behaviors and attitudes. Then the researcher may be able to find more exhaustive information about the subject but he may lose the essence which can raise debate among various groups.

DATA COLLECTION It is important that how and by which method you are going to check results of your research, and how effectively you are going to implement that in making your decision. The person in the research will know how the data collection, planning, and its implementation will help in analyzing the potentiality of a method for decision making. Secondary form of data collection incorporates collecting material level problem, but does not collect the information for the existing data. This can be produced internally or externally to do a better research.

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Primary information is gathered mainly to help the users whom you are addressing. It is collected on the basis of observation. There may become more rigid form of data collection but these trends are flexible w.r.t. its desired group of audiences. Suppose you want to invest in commercial market then choose the research consultants to do research for you. Observation is the method by which you can examine the methods and information for reference materials, or the amount of time it would take in the process to complete a certain phase of work because if a person knows that he is being observed then his behavior may change. Surveys Interviewing is another method by which a survey is conducted. Written questionnaires are more widely used for information gathering. There are various methods by which we can gather information and response from audience. If we have to collect a huge amount of information where the target audience is too large then by choosing a small number of people to represent mass population is the most suitable method for it or you can also try to remove the biasness approach by using: (i) Random sampling; (ii) Stratified sampling; and (iii) Quota sampling .

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PART B FIELD STUDY REPORT


Introduction
One of the most critical parts of this report is my Field work, which I refer to as the Live Study. I covered two villages under Raebareily district, Dalmau and Maharaj Ganj. Under this I met various banking and non-banking Authorities, Customers, Business Correspondents and Authorities of Integra Service provider, who shared their views with me and I further observed them by asking pertinent question regarding the subject matter. Among the initiatives taken by RBI most important steps are regulatory relaxation through branchless banking (providing banking services through business correspondents) and usage of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in a big way to reach out to the villagers in the most cost effective manner.

Pre-requirement of a Financial Inclusion System.


Some of the features desirable in a system to address inclusion of financially excluded population are:The Population to be covered in the financial inclusion must feel confident of the banking transaction. The transaction terminal should be portable to handle anytime, anywhere transaction in a branchless banking scenario. The system should work effectively in the conditions prevailing in the rural environment. Some major problems faced by rural folk include uncertain power supply, connectivity, weather, dust etc. The system should provide secure identification and authentication of the customer, in ways other than signature and PIN numbers. Should be able to work in online and offline modes, to address issues relating to connectivity. The system should address issues relating to loss, theft and breakage etc., of any hardware, and adequate redundancy should be built into the system for continuity of business.
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Launching of Pilot Project in Raebareily Districts (Lucknow Region)


Driven by the passion of inclusive growth and inspired by the concept of financial inclusion, Bank of Baroda identified Raebareily region (Sultanpur is another district covered in this pilot project) for implementation of Smart Card based Financial Inclusion. M/S Integra Micro System (P) Ltd. was identified as service provider in Raebareily region. Five Branches have been designated to provide the smart card by business correspondents. Under the process, the vendors will engage their personnel as field BCs who will work exclusively for Bank of Baroda in their identified area of operation. Customers identification, collection of their profile, capturing their photographs & fingerprints will be done by the BCs. Cards will be personalized by the vendor after approval of the branch. Compliance with the KYC norms will be the responsibility of the concerned branch.

Integras Mobile Financial Applications Secure Terminal (iMFAST)

Bank of Barodas Lead Branch, Raibareli with the help of Integra Micro System Private Ltd. has extended banking facility in the rural areas which are Financially Excluded. Integra with its product Integras Mobile Financial Applications Secure Terminal (iMFAST) has so far connected 5 villages in Raibareli district; Dalmau, Salon, Tilo, Maharaj Ganj and Lal Ganj with 10,000 Smart Cards. In the second phase we will see Uchahar, Jagatpur, Mohan Ganj, Rastamau, Simrie, Dedeur, Bachnawa,

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Bedaru, Odari and Tarkari Dandi to be connected by banking facilities. A target of 15000 Smart Cards is set for these 10 Villages, cumulating to 25000 Smart Card in total. Integra facilitated banking services to financially excluded rural India, overcoming the challenges of power and connectivity. It identifies and authenticates the user, facilitates voice-guided transactions and prints receipt for each transaction, this help the rural folk who are mostly illiterate. It represents the evolution of newer systems for rural environments capable of lowering the cost per transaction. Till date Integra facilitate transaction of NAREGA, Pension Fund and general banking like accepting and lending money like function. Even though deposits are as small as Rs. 10 per person, but this is creating a habit of saving and thrift in rural people. Integra has made Brick & Mortar less banking possible which as a result helps in cutting exorbitant cost of providing banking facility in Rural Area. Rural banking is said to be High Volume and Low Quantity business which make it less lucrative than urban & city banking. But with the advent of ICT its a blessing in disguise for banker and now turning out to be a big untapped market for them.

About iMFAST

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Integra designed iMFAST to address the specific pains of rural banking: a semi-literate population, harsh rural environments, and issues of security and authentication. It is designed to be transported to the villages by an agent (who may work for the bank or a postal service) and who can visit multiple villages in a day. The small portable compact electronic device as can be seen in the picture above brings in cash into the banking system through cashless transactions. This machine is capable of working in both online and offline mode, it record transaction when working in offline mode. It has a secure identification and authentication system through a live biometric fingerprint sensor. Voice guide system to assist the customers instructs them in various languages. Apart from English this device is programmed with different local languages which include Hindi, Tamil, Kannad, Marathi, Telgu, Malayalam etc. and offers both, wired and wireless connectivity. On the spot transaction slips are issued so to verify the details of transaction.

Technical feature of the products of INTEGRA iMFAST


Field Distribution System The Point of Transaction (POT) terminal is a small box type light weight device capable of Biometrics fingerprint based identification and authentication. It has inbuilt smart card reader and an impact printer. The Biometrics authentification is done by optical and capacitative scanner. The device is a voice guided system and is indigenously manufactured by the vendor. The system runs on Embedded Linux and Embedded XP operating system. Smart Card It is a chip enabled contact less card. This chip is not seen from outside and is personalized with data pertaining to the customer. The card is manufactured by GEMALTO. Every transaction is directly stored in the field BCs Smart Card as well as in the customers Smart Card but not in the device. Data Loading at the Back End The POT device is connected to the line at the end of the day and push the transaction to the back end server through iMAFAST software which works as switch. The iMFAST terminal talks to the back end over internet, communication with back end happens through secure socket layer (SSL) and encrypted data communication.

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Connectivity This system has the portability and ability to connect to the back end server using both wire and wireless connectivity like PSTN/GPRS/CDMA/LAN/WIMAX networks. Reports On successful completion of the transaction, POT would print 2 receipts. On one receipt field BC would sign and would hand over the same to the customer. On the second receipt customer would put his signature/thumb impression and the same would be kept with the field BC for record purpose. Reconciliation reports are generated through back end database. The device can handle multiple applications requiring identification and authentication. The device currently has 256 MB of memory, which can be scaled up to 8 GB. Smart card is of 4 K memory currently and can be extended up to 144 K. iMFAST was initially deployed in a pilot site with a leading bank in South India. It is now successfully running in over 50 locations of this bank. In addition, the solution has been deployed in multiple locations by five other leading banks. Future development plan addresses both technology and services. Technology options include miniATM with minimum maintenance cost, enumeration devices for e-governance, support for various smart cards, NFC-based point of service/payments and information kiosks. Future services would include doorstep banking for urban regions and value added services for microfinance, microinsurance, etc. Impact The solution provides benefit to both the bank and the rural population. Benefits for Rural Population Customer need not come to the branch for carrying out basic banking transaction such as, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, balance enquiry, mini statement etc. Saves travel time cost of travel to the customers. Most of the rural populations are daily wage earner; this branchless banking helped them to save their opportunity loss of daily wage which they have to forgo before. Alternately they can use this saved time for his occupation or his income generation. No constraints on time as the Business Correspondents can be accessed practically any time of the day. Need not feel diffident for remitting or withdrawing small amounts. Creating a habit of saving and thrift for rural population.

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Advantage to the Bank Viable business model to tap the rural saving and deploy credit. This as a result has increased banking scope for Bank of Baroda as now they can reach far flung areas. Capability to mop rural savings Banking remittance of social payment schemes to villagers like NAREGA, Pension funds etc were on one hand adding cost of transaction to bank and on another side it increased work pressure at the counter. Integra with its iMFAST has helped bank to reduce the high maintenance cost by converting these accounts into Integra Account. So in place of managing 2500 saving accounts of rural population now bank have to maintain only one account of Business Correspondent who is responsible for managing maximum of 2500 accounts of rural people. These have drastically reduced the cost for bank and reduce work pressure at the counter. Reduced frauds as the transaction are handled in secure manner. Transactions are handled by devices and hence it insures greater accuracy and increased security. Increased in the customer base without concomitant increase in manpower or infrastructure at branches. The business correspondent would be able to identify the borrowers and assist in borrower identification, loan recovery, etc. The bank is aiming to extend the reach of the new structure both geographically and functionally to incorporate gradually, a host of service akin to those generally available in a small rural branch.

Business Correspondent Model


Possibly the most important initiative of the Reserve Bank has been the Business Correspondent (BC) model. The BC model ensures a closer relationship between poor people and the organized financial system. Recognizing this, in 2006, banks were permitted to use the services of nongovernmental organizations, micro-finance institutions, retired bank employees, ex-servicemen, retired government employees, Section 25 companies, and other civil society organisations as Business Correspondents in providing financial and banking services.

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Even as the BC model has taken off, it needs to be fine tuned and monitored appropriately to improve its efficacy, including by better training BCs. Recently, the scope of the BC model is further enlarged by permitting banks to appoint individual kirana/medical/fair price shop owners, individual Public Call Office (PCO) operators, agents of Small Savings schemes and insurance companies, individuals who own petrol pumps, retired teachers and self-help groups linked to banks as BCs. With a view to ensuring the viability of the BC model, banks have also been permitted to collect reasonable service charges from the customer in a transparent manner. Going forward, the Reserve Bank will endeavor to give complete flexibility to banks to appoint BCs with only a negative list of entities that would not be eligible.

Modus Operandi of the System


This service is unique delivery channel in banking services to facilitate rural people in banking with the help of sophisticated technology. This service is branchless banking service through point of transaction (POT) machine by using smart cards. This is a major leap forward towards inclusion through branchless banking. The customer can avail the facility of banking at his/her own convenient time. Besides that he/she will earn interest on the savings and this fund will remain secured. Bank will identify and appoint its Business Correspondents (BC) at remote areas and associate them with the nearest branch of the Bank. BCs will be provided one unit of Point of Transaction (POT) Machine to carry out banking transactions like accepting deposit, allowing withdrawal. Remittance from abroad can also be credited to these accounts and can be withdrawn through BCs Location. BCs will be provided their Agent card to operate the machine. Agent card is only for the operation of POT machine. BCs will source the Customer and collect the filled application form from the villagers along with the photograph and all the required documents and submit them to the designated branches. After opening their account, a smart card bearing the photograph and the demographic details of the account holder will be given to the customer.
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BC will obtain the card and to activate the card, the fingerprint of the customer is grabbed and the card is handed. As the card is biometric, it can be operated only after recognition of the fingerprints. After completion of each transaction, customer will be provided a signed receipt as a proof of the transaction. Besides, machine will also prompt various voice messages regarding the transaction and inform the current deposit or withdrawal. BCs, on daily basis, transfers data to the Bank through various means like Telephone Line, GPRS or through Internet and the transaction occurs in Banks Software. Most important point for the customer is to obtain the signed receipt of each transaction and also to listen the voice prompts after the transactions. This product is the most secure product; the concerned account holder himself has to be present along with Smart card at the Business Correspondents location for the withdrawal and deposit. Random selection of Fingerprint impression is made during the transaction.

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Meeting with Mr. Shashi Bhavan (Business Correspondent)

In conversation with Mr. Shashi Bhavan, I observed following facts. Within a time span of 3 months he has linked 200 plus customer indirectly with Bank of Baroda. Another set of 100 applications were ready, so to integrate more customers in this branchless banking model. He lacks formal training from Bank of Baroda. In case of any technical assistance regarding Point of Transaction machine, Mr. Ashish (Raebareily district coordinator - Integra) helps him. His living conditions have improved gradually when compared to his only farm income. Working as a Business Correspondent for Bank of Baroda there is substantial rise in his income and there also is an improvement in his social status. He feels his native people respect him more now.. He feel very comfortable with the machine and till date has not confronted any mechanical error. Awareness level of Mr. Shashi Bhavan regarding other financial product was almost nothing. No knowledge of Financial Literacy and Credit Counseling. Just to inculcate saving habit in the customers he motivate them to save as low as Rs 10 per day.

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Suggestions There should be some formal training from Banks to Business Correspondents. Bank should insure that BCs are aware of various financial schemes for rural people so they can inform them better. This as a result will benefit both Bank as well as the rural people. An integration of FLCC with BCs should be established. FLCC must ensure up to date information to BCs in their respective districts. This can be done through organizing weekly or monthly camps for BCs in villages.

Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling.

Financial literacy or financial education can broadly be defined as 'providing familiarity with and understanding of financial market products, especially rewards and risks, in order to make informed choices. Financial literacy is primarily on the individual, who usually has limited resources and skills to appreciate the complexities of financial dealings with financial intermediaries on a day-to-day basis. In India, the need for financial literacy is even greater considering the low levels of literacy and the large section of the population, which still remains out of the formal financial set-up. For sustaining financial inclusion, the financial literacy becomes a very critical component. There is a need to simultaneously focus on the financial literacy part. Research findings have revealed that the low level of financial literacy is one of the reasons why the financial inclusion drive has not picked up.
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The RBI India has asked both the private as well as public sector banks to set up more Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centre (FLCC) in every district and has suggested the lead banks to hold a public meeting every quarter in each district to address grievances of the bank customers. These centres should provide both pre and post credit counseling. Post credit counselling should be on management of finances and debt servicing in times of unexpected losses and natural disasters (like drought, flood, etc). Lead banks are expected to open a Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centre (FLCC) in every district where they have lead responsibility. While credit counselling services may be provided by banks both in rural and urban areas, it is observed that a large segment of the Indian population is resident in rural areas with literacy levels lower than in urban areas. The rural population is also more dependent on the informal sector for its financing needs. It is necessary that a segmented approach, rather than broad-based generalized approach to counselling for all types of borrowers, is adopted. The centres in rural areas could concentrate on financial literacy and counselling for farming communities and those engaged in allied activities. The centres in metro/urban areas could focus on individuals with overdue in credit cards, personal loans, housing loans, etc. All forms of publicity--press conferences, workshops, publications, websites, road shows, mobile units, village fairsshould be actively explored. A suitable budget needs to be provided by all banks for the purpose. In order to go ahead in a planned manner, a committee on financial literacy and counselling may be set up by the Reserve Bank with members from the Reserve Bank, NABARD, IBA, BCSBI, CIBIL, NGOs working in the area and consumer organisations; this will foster greater collaboration in areas relating to consumer education and protection of consumers interest. The scheme of FLCCs needs to be linked up with BC/BF model as the mobility and reach of BC/BF up to the doorsteps of poor will be an important factor of success of this scheme. Besides promoting awareness and giving counselling for credit and savings it would be good to link FLCCs with insurance companies so that the poor can get information and counselling services from a single door. Urgent need is required to dovetail financial literacy into school curricula at all levels. A pilot programme has been launched recently on financial literacy in Karnataka. The programme, launched
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by RBI in collaboration with the state government, will involve introduction of financial and related material in the curriculum of schools and colleges. Significant steps would also be taken to make financial literacy a part of non-formal education.

In conversation with Mr. S.N.Lal Srivastav, counselor at FLCC, Raibarelly

Mr. Srivastav an ex-banker has joined FLCC Raebareily as a counselor. In conversation with him the following observations were noted by me. I noted Mr. Srivastav as a very responsible and calm person. His cognizance regarding banking and financial services was very satisfactory. Profile of clients who visited FLCC mostly belongs to service or business class. There was hardly any evidence of visitors from rural area. Lack of marketing effort was observed, as the reach of FLCC was restricted till city Raibareily only. On my visit to Village Dalmau & Maharaj Ganj almost none of them were aware of FLCC.

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Suggestions Promotion of FLCC should be done at city and village level, so that maximum people can take advantage of this. Main motive of FLCC is to provide free counselling to rural people and in my observation this objective has not been met so far. Regular rural camp should be organized, so that the rural population can be covered. These camps should be consistent in operation with respect to frequency and timing and other such issues. Special preference should be given to the FLCC referred clients. This will give FLCC a distinct image in the eyes of the non-banking customers and they will prefer to approach FLCC prior to banks. Financial literacy should target school children also. Small workshops and seminar could be organized at school level so to broader their financial ken.

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Rendezvous with Mr. Shiv Ram

On my visit to Dalmau branch of Bank of Baroda, I met Mr. Shiv Raj (in photograph), he is a daily wage earner under NAREGA program. Even though he has a bank account with Bank of Baroda Dalmau Branch which is exclusively for receipt of NAREGA payment, in my observation he belongs to a financially excluded segment. Following observations led me to this conclusion. Lack of a bank account for other than NAREGA transaction purpose. No awareness of financial services that accompany the program it. Reliance on alternative forms of credit, such as doorstep lenders and pawnbrokers. Lack of other key financial products, such as insurance, savings products and pensions. Lack of capacity and livelihood alternatives. Relied only on NAREGA and brothers shop.

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In conversation with Mr. Gulab Singh, Branch Manager Bank of Baroda - Dalmau
It was a long journey from 2006 till about late 2008 when the recommendations were actually accepted, and it was mandated that NREGA payments should be done only through banks and the post office system in conjunction. Mr. Tiwari accentuated why other rural branches are reluctant which is causing delay in these payments. He justified his argument by giving two valid reasons for it. One is that either the banks are unwilling to cope with the load or they are unable to cope with the load. Just look at the plight of a bank, which has a small rural kind of a branch where they would, may be, get 70 or 80 customers in a day, and suddenly a NREGA muster roll has to be paid, with upwards of 500 beneficiaries seeking their payments turning up on the same day week after week. The other problem, of course, is that NREGA as a scheme does not provide for any money to handle the transaction fee. Why would the banks want to undertake this responsibility given the costs? All banks are commercial entities; they have shareholders to answer to; the bank chairmans career graph depends on what the banks bottom-line looks like. They have to make some money in the process of handling NREGA payments, which entail very, very small amounts that just come in and go out of the bank. Somebody working under NREGA is unlikely to have a substantial savings account. Only in states like Andhra Pradesh has the State government been proactive and provided for 2 per cent of the money to be given to the banks for handling NREGA payments. In other states, this is not the case. So, viability is a big issue and a recurrent one in the various discussions and meetings we had. With the advent of Integra as a service provider in Raebareily Districts, Bank of Baroda Dalmau Branch has shifted crowd of NAREGA and reduced transaction cost. But still substantial numbers of people are not integrated with this ICT and branch has to face these issues as listed by Mr. Tiwari.

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CHAPTER 5 DATA ANALYSIS

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Some Glaring Facts about Financial Exclusion


45.9 million Farmer households out of a total of 89.3 million households do not have access to credit either from the institutional or non-institutional sources (NSSO, 2008). One branch is catering to the banking needs of 16,000 populations (June, 2007). Only 17 credit accounts and 54 saving accounts are there per 100 persons with all the institutions (June 2007). Only 13 per cent are availing loans from the banks in the income bracket of less than Rs.50,000. 53 per cent people are still taking loans from the institutional and non-institutional sources only for emergency purposes. These figures do tell us something the urgent need for extending the banking and financial services to every part of the country for achieving the objective of inclusive growth. The Indian economy, though achieved a high growth momentum during 2003-04 to 2007-08, could not bring down unemployment and poverty to tolerable levels. Further, a vast majority of the population remained outside the ambit of basic health and education facilities during this high growth phase. In recent decades, economic and social inequalities have increased alongside high growth rates which have exacerbated regional inequalities. The latest seventh quinquennial survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) (61st Round) reveals that growth rate of employment increased from an annual 0.98 per cent in the period 1993-94 to 1999-00 to 2.89 per cent in the period 1999-2000 to 2004-05, while the acceleration in the rate of growth of labour force from 1.03 per cent to 2.93 per cent during same period had negative impact on employment rate (Table 1). Similarly, poverty ratio has been declining during the recent period, but it continues to remain at a very high level of 27.5 per cent (Uniform Recall Period) in 2004-05 from 36.0 per cent in 1993-94. The most disturbing fact is that the income inequality as commonly measured by consumption expenditure (Gini coefficient) has increased in India from 32.9 in 1993 to 36.2 in 2004 (Ali, I. and J. Zhuang: 2007).

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Table 3. Employment and Unemployment (UPSS) (Source: RBI, DEAP work paper, 2009) 1999-00 to 2004-05 1993-94 1999-00 2004-05 1993-94 to 1999-00 In million
Labour Force Workforce Number of Unemployed 381.94 374.45 7.49

Point to Point Growth Rate 469.06


457.82 11.24

406.05
397.00 9.05

1.03
0.98

Annualized (CAGR) 2.93


2.89

As a Proportion of labour force in per cent Unemployment Rate 1.96 2.23 2.39

Employment and Unemployment


1993-94 469.06 381.94 406.05 374.45 397 1999-00 2004-05

457.82

7.49 Labour Force Workforce

9.05 11.25

Number of Unemployed

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Role of Financial Inclusion in Achieving Inclusive Growth

It has been the endeavour of both the Government and the Reserve Bank to expand banking sector across the length and breadth of the country to ensure reasonably priced credit in a timely manner to all the deserving borrowers. Notwithstanding the significant expansion in bank network in unbanked areas after bank nationalisation in India, there are still large segments of the society that remain outside the financial system. A quick look at the data on the sources of loans and also percentage of persons having annual income less than Rs. 50,000 show that 28.3 per cent had bank accounts and only 13 per cent had availed of bank finance and even in higher income bracket exclusion existed (Tables 3 and 4). Hence, the recent focus has been on providing access to affordable banking services to every person. Table 4: Earners Having a Bank Account 2007 (Figures in per cent) Source: Report on Currency and Finance 2006-08 (IIMS, 2007) Annual Income (Rs) <50,000 50,000 100,000 100,000 200,000 200,000 400,000 >400,000 All Urban 43.1 75.5 91.8 95.5 98.0 61.7 Rural 26.8 71.2 87.4 93.6 96.3 38.0 Total 28.3 73 89.9 94.9 97.6 44.9

Table 5: Sources of Loans (Per cent of Indebted Earners) Source: Report on Currency and Finance 2006-07 (IIMS Survey, 2007)
Annual Income (Rs) Banks Money Lenders Other Institutional & Non Institutional Sources Total

<50,000 50,000 100,000 100,000 200,000 200,000 400,000 >400,000

13.0 34.5 49.3 51.6 62.8

34.0 19.6 12.0 11.8 5.5

52.1 45.9 38.7 36.6 31.7

100 100 100 100 100


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Earners Having a Bank Account 2007


Urban Rural Total

91.8 75.5 71.2 73

87.4 89.9

95.5 93.6 94.9

98 96.3 97.6

61.7 43.1 26.8 28.3 38 44.9

<50000

50,000-100,000 100,000-200,000 200,000-400,000

>40000

All

Sources of Loans (Per cent of Indebted Earners)


Banks Money Lenders Other Inst & Non-Inst Sources 62.8 52.1 45.9 34 34.5 19.6 13 12 11.8 5.5 49.3 38.7 51.6 36.6 31.7

<50000

50,000-100,000

100,000-200,000

200,000-400,000

>40000

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The process of financial inclusion in India can broadly be classified into three phases. During the First Phase (1960-1990), the focus was on channeling of credit to the neglected sectors of the economy. Special emphasis was also laid on weaker sections of the society. Second Phase (19902005) focused mainly on strengthening the financial institutions as part of financial sector reforms. Financial inclusion in this phase was encouraged mainly by the introduction of Self- Help Group (SHG)-bank linkage programme in the early 1990s and Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) for providing credit to farmers. The SHG-bank linkage programme was launched by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in 1992, with policy support from the Reserve Bank, to facilitate collective decision making by the poor and provide door step banking. During the Third Phase (2005 onwards), the financial inclusion was explicitly made as a policy objective and thrust was on providing safe facility of savings deposits through no frills accounts. A Synoptic View of Financial Inclusion is as under: Number of No-Frill Accounts 3,30,24,761 at end-March 2009 Number of rural bank branches 31, 727 constituting 39.7% of total bank branches (as on June, 31, 2009) Number of ATMs 44,857 (as on May 31, 2009) Number of POS 4,70,237 (as on May 31, 2009) Number of Cards 167.09 million (as on May 31, 2009) Number of Kisan Credit Cards 76 million (Source: CMIE publication 2007-08) Number of Mobile phones 403 million (as on Apr.30, 2009) - out of which 187 million (46%) do not have a bank account. (Source : Cellular Operators Association of India) The number of no frills accounts increased from 4,89,497 at end-March 2006 to 3,30,24,761 at endMarch 2009. Notably, the public sector banks account for the majority of these no frills accounts as at end-March 2009 (Table 6). Similarly, the number of credit as well as savings accounts per 100 adults has also shown increasing trend over the period 2002 to 2007.

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Table 6: Progress of No frills Accounts in the Banking Sector in India Category Public Sector Banks Private Sector Banks Foreign Banks Total March 31, 2006 3,32,878 1,56,388 231 4,89,497 March 31, 2007 58,65,419 8,60,997 5,919 67,32,335 March 31, 2008* 1,39,09,935 18,45,869 33,115 1,57,88,919 March 31,2009* 2,98,59,178 31,24,101 41,482 3,30,24,761

*: Provisional. Source: o Report on Trend and Progress of Banking India 2007-08. o Data for 2008-09 are received from banks.

35000000 30000000 Number of No-Frill Accounts 25000000 20000000 15000000 10000000 5000000 0 2006 2007 Years 2008 2009 Public Sector Banks Private Sector Banks Foreign Banks Total

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Since micro finance has been accepted as the main vehicle to address the issue of lending to small borrowers dispersed over vast expenses of geographical areas involving high transaction costs and also as a business opportunity. Following details will further accentuate SHGs role in Financial Inclusion. There are over 3 million SHGs in India, many of which are already undertaking individual group micro-enterprises. A large number are also doing advocacy work and many especially in south India have formed federations. For economic viability and greater effectiveness, however, SHGs should be provided means to start group enterprises, especially in the rural areas, and provided access to land and other means for this purpose. All self-employment programmes integrated into Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) in April 1999 has made rapid progress over time covering more than 31 lakh (Table 5). However, only 22 per cent of the SHGs were provided with bank finance for undertaking income generating activities including micro enterprises. The bank assistance was abysmally low leading to low level of investment activity. This shortcoming has been attributed to failure of public intervention to enhance the credit absorption capacity of SHGs as well as to the failures of credit delivery systems to reach the poor. The poor credit absorption capacity of poor can be illustrated by the prevalent credit-subsidy ratio under SGSY at about two, much below the target ratio of 3:1, partly due to failure to strengthen the demand side of the credit by improving the capacity of the poor to absorb credit for income generating activities (GoI, 2009).
Table 7: Physical Progress under SGSY since Inception (thousands)

Years

SHGs Formed 292 223 434 399

1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03

No. of SHGs No. of SHGs SHGs Passed Passed Taking Up Economic Activities Grade I Grade II 125 29 214 176 190 74 54 95 26 31 35

SHG Swarozgaris Assisted 35 319 365 414

Individual Swarozgaris Assisted 586 687 573 412

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2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Total

392 266 276 246 306 298 3134

205 220 211 222 251 201 2014

91 106 92 156 117 62 948

51 68 80 138 181 46 685

578 789 873 1472 1154 557 6869

320 327 278 220 254 117 3772

Even in the better performing State of Andhra Pradesh, the income gain to a swarojgari from enterprise activities under SGSY was a mere Rs.1,228 per month (Purushotham, 2008). Governments proposal for universalizing the SHG coverage of all poor households by 2013 and increasing the proportion of assisted persons among swarojgaris to 50 per cent from the existing 22 per cent is a welcome initiative in this direction. Trained groups in SGSY would be a severe handicap in moving towards the Eleventh Five Year Plan goal of inclusive growth. The proposal to cover 1.7 crore BPL households by 2015 under skill development and placement is to be seen as an encouraging step (GoI, 2008). Well designed poverty alleviation programmes, if effectively implemented, not only supplement the poverty reducing effects of growth but also could promote pro-poor growth. There is need to design financial instruments that would help people to reduce their risk and vulnerability whether it is for smoothening incomes or ensuring higher education for family members or reducing exposure to health shocks. To address the problem of high transaction cost and outreach, the banks can increasingly use Information Technology based solutions, such as mobile phones and smart cards, create data base for credit risk management and pricing. There are over 403 million mobile phone users today of which around 187 million (46 per cent) do not have a bank account. The Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund (FITF) can be used to

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(i) (ii)

Fund support for capacity building of BCs and BFs and render promotional support for SHGs and other grass root level institutions; and Financial support for rural kiosks, IT and such other technological solutions for financial services in rural India in general and excluded groups/regions in particular (GoI, 2009).

RBI to Evaluate Progress of Financial Inclusion


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposes to evaluate the progress of districts under financial inclusion through an independent external agency. The State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) will identify one district in each state for 100 per cent financial inclusion. To bring more such districts under financial inclusion, RBI has asked banks to introduce more no-frill accounts and general purpose credit cards (GPCCs) with limits of up to Rs 25,000 in rural and semi-urban branches. The credit facility will be in the nature of revolving credit entitling the holder to withdraw up to the limit sanctioned. About 50 per cent of general credit card (GCC) loans could also be treated by banks as part of priority sector lending Till June 2007 around 70 lakh no-frill accounts have been opened by commercial banks. Of these, around 67 lakh accounts have been opened by public sector banks and around 11 lakh accounts by private sector banks, besides around 12,000 by foreign banks. so far, 68 districts have been fully financially included 14 in Kerala, 11 in Haryana, nine in Punjab, Pondicherry, 12 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in Karnataka, 1 in Tamil Nadu, 1 in Gujarat, 1 in Andhra Pradesh, 1 in West Bengal, 1 in Rajasthan, Diu, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, 3 in Uttar Pradesh, 1 in Orissa, Daman, 1 in Maharashtra and 1 in Assam. In certain less developed areas like the North East, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, working groups headed by RBI representatives have been set up. The recommendations of these working groups for financial inclusion, strengthening of financial institutions and improving currency and payment systems are being implemented and monitored by Reserve Bank regional offices.

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CHAPTER 6 INTERPRETATION

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State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC)


SLBC Profile

State Level Bankers' Committee is one of the highest bodies of bankers in the state and it is set-up as per the Lead Bank Scheme of the Reserve Bank of India. The committee meets once a quarter and discuss various issues concerning the economic development of the state, where banks play a pivotal role. The meetings aim at finding solution to the various problems confronting the state. The forum takes the lead in initiating, streamlining and accelerating the process of development in close co-ordination with various government departments, Reserve Bank of India, NABARD and other developmental agencies. The quarterly meetings are attended by top-level functionaries of member institutions of SLBC, thereby enabling them for meaningful and purposeful discussions on various matters aimed at solving the various issues.

SLBC Uttar Pradesh Profile

Covering an area of 240928 square kms. UP is one of the largest states of India. It is divided into 70 districts and 820 blocks, the state has 107452 villages. Ranking first in the country in terms of population, the state is densely populated. As against the national average of 324 persons/Sq. km., the state has a population density of 689 persons/Sq. km. Another feature of Uttar Pradesh is its predominantly rural character, high level of poverty and low percentage of working population. About 80% of the population lives in rural areas and more than 30% of the population still lives below poverty line.

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The state economy is predominantly agrarian and more than 70% of the work force is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. The importance of agriculture in the state economy can be gauged from the fact that share of agriculture in State Domestic Product is 35% as against 22% share in the National GDP. The State has a wide network of banks. It is being served by 43 Commercial Banks, 12 RRBs and 2 Cooperative Banks. Out of total 9123 branches of All Scheduled Commercial Banks (including RRBs) operating in the state, 4866 branches are operating in the rural areas and 1594 in Semi-urban areas.

Strategies and Approach


State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meets quarterly and reviews the banking developments in the State. At the district level, the district level committee functions; it is headed by the District Magistrate and is convened by a designated lead bank for the district. In early 2006, one district in each State was identified by the SLBC for 100 per cent financial inclusion. So far, SLBCs have reported having achieved 100 per cent financial inclusion in the Union Territory of Pondicherry and in some districts in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Punjab & Uttar Pradesh. Reserve Bank proposes to undertake an evaluation of the progress made in these districts by an independent external agency to draw lessons for further action in this regard. In the districts taken up for 100% financial inclusion, surveys were conducted using various data base such as electoral rolls, public distribution system, or other household data, to identify households without bank account and responsibility given to the banks in the area for ensuring that all those who wanted to have a bank account were provided with one by allocating the villages to the different banks. Mass media was deployed for creating awareness and publicity. The banks used different approaches to communicate the advantages of having a bank account. Bank staff or their agents who are usually local NGOs or village volunteers would contact the people at their households. Ration card / Electoral ID cards of the families were taken for fulfilling the simplified KYC norms. Photographs of all the persons who opened bank accounts were taken on the spot by a photographer accompanying the bank team. In most States, the product used for launching the program for financial inclusion is the No frills accounts. In one State the farmers credit card or KCC is being used ensuring first to credit rather than savings. In other States no frills account was

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followed by small overdraft facility or a general purpose revolving credit up-to pre-specified limit. Recognizing the need for providing social security to vulnerable groups, in some cases in association with insurance companies, banks have provided innovative insurance policies at affordable cost covering life, disability and health cover. Cooperative banks and regional rural banks being local level institutions are well suited for achieving financial inclusion. These banks are being revived and strengthened with incentives for better governance. Being local institutions they are ideally suited for achieving FI. The role of an efficient payments system for FI cannot be overstressed and we efforts are being made to bring about Improvements in the payments system especially in the relatively less developed parts of the country.

Huge increase in No Frills Accounts

Source: Speech by Mrs. Usha Tharot (Financial Inclusion The Indian Experience) RBI Archive The outcome of the efforts made is reflected in the increase of 6 million new no frills bank accounts opened between March 2006 and 2007. In view of their vast branch network (45000 rural and semi urban branches) public sector banks and the regional rural banks have been able to scale up their efforts by merely leveraging on the existing capacity. FI is being viewed by these banks as a huge business opportunity in an overall environment that facilitates enterprise and growth. It provides them a competitive advantage and defines a clear niche for their growth.
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Role of Government
State Governments can play a pro active role in facilitating FI. Issuing official identity documents for opening accounts , creating awareness and involving district and block level functionaries in the entire process, meeting cost of cards and other devices for pilots, undertaking financial literacy drives are some of the ways in which the State and district administration have involved themselves. India Post is also looking to diversify its activities and leverage on its huge network of post offices, the postmans intimate knowledge of the local population and the enormous trust reposed in him. Banks are entering into agreements with India Post for using post offices as agents for branchless banking.

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CHAPTER 7 FINDINGS

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Research methodology that is used here was purely exploratory. Data like research paper, recommendations of various Committees on Financial Sector Reform, guidelines on Business Correspondent and other such relevant data formed a part of secondary source of information. Face to face interview with Lead District Manager - Raebareily, Branch Managers, Bank Customers, Business Correspondent, Integra Employee etc. served as primary source of information.

Interaction with Lead District Manager - Raebareily, Mr. T. K. Panday


Mr. Panday informed that 100% financial inclusion in the villages of Raebareily has been completed. He said that, the teams are made at village levels and they were told the villages and the family numbers. They go to every family and enquire about their accounts in any formal institution with the type of account. Financial inclusion of districts along with the villages is being done. He said that there are a total of 176 branches in the area for this purpose with 1745 villages and 269 mohallas making it a total of 2014. Mr. Panday highlighted some figures of INITIAL Mandate for issuance of Smart Card, which show successful achievement of targets. In the phase I five villages were identified, these are Salon, Lalganj, Dalmau, Tiloi and Maharaj Ganj; number of smart cards issued are 3240, 1492, 1917, 1180 and 2169 respectively. In the phase I, a target of 10000 Smart Cards was set and in actual 99.98% target was met. In the phase II extension of mandate for issuance of smart cards is increased by 15000. For extension of the project 10 more branches have been identified these are Uchahar, Jagatpur, Mohan Ganj, Rastamau, Simrie, Dedeur, Bachnawa, Bedaru, Odari and Tarkari Dandi. He also elaborated on the success of women empowerment and loans given through SHGs. There are a total of 34000 SHGs working in the area each comprising of 10 families approximately. A total of 350000 families are involved into it. He told that we have 5 lakhs in Raebareli and 5 lakhs in Sultanpur making it a total of 10 lakhs out of which, 7 lakhs were in rural areas and 3 lakhs were in urban areas. 3.5 lakhs have been already covered in the rural areas. He told that DLRC meetings are conducted on a regular basis to get feedback about the work done by every branch and how much inclusion is done.
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Interaction with Mr. Gulab Singh, Branch Manager - Dalmau, Raebareli


Mr. Tiwari expressed his views on the mandatory NARAGE payment via banks. He accentuated why other rural branches are reluctant which are causing delay in these payment. He justified his argument by giving two valid reasons for it. One is that either the banks are unwilling to cope with the load or they are unable to cope with the load. Just look at the plight of a bank, which has a small rural kind of a branch where they would, may be, get 70 or 80 customers in a day, and suddenly a NREGA muster roll has to be paid, with upwards of 500 beneficiaries seeking their payments turning up on the same day week after week. The other problem, of course, is that NREGA as a scheme does not provide for any money to handle the transaction fee. Why would the banks want to undertake this responsibility given the costs? All banks are commercial entities; they have shareholders to answer to; the bank chairmans career graph depends on what the banks bottom-line looks like. They have to make some money in the process of handling NREGA payments, which entail very, very small amounts that just come in and go out of the bank. Somebody working under NREGA is unlikely to have a substantial savings account. Only in states like Andhra Pradesh has the State government been proactive and provided for 2 per cent of the money to be given to the banks for handling NREGA payments. In other states, this is not the case. So, viability is a big issue and a recurrent one in the various discussions and meetings we had. With the advent of Integra as a service provider in Raebareily Districts, Bank of Baroda Dalmau Branch has shifted crowd of NAREGA and reduced transaction cost. But still substantial numbers of people are not integrated with this ICT and branch has to face these issues as listed by Mr. Tiwari.

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Interaction with Mr. Gopal Krishna, Branch Manager Maharaj Ganj, Raebareily
He said that Maharaj Ganj branch covers 21 villages which are divided into 3 groups comprising 7 villages each. It had a total of 4 smart card machines. It has issued 3500 smart cards out of which, 1500 are operational.

Interaction with Integras Raebareily District Coordinator - Mr. Ashish Kumar Verma
1. Concept of Point of Transaction Machine Mr. Ashish explained me the concept of Point of Transaction Machine (iMFAST). This machine is given to Business Correspondent for facilitating banking facilities in remote areas. This machine brings in cash into the banking system through cashless transactions. One of the most remarkable features of this machine is capability of working in both online and offline mode, it records transaction in an offline status. From safety point of view this machine is very secure. To prove this point Mr. Ashish has actually demonstrated how POT machine rejects the request when customer card (Biometric) does not authenticate and customer figure prints. Apart from English this device is programmed with different local languages which include Hindi, Tamil, Kannad, Marathi, Telgu, Malayalam etc. and offers both, wired and wireless connectivity. On the spot transaction slips are issued so to verify the details of transaction. 2. Entire process of biometric card issuance Issuance of Biometric Card is very simple from a customer point of view. He just needs to fill a form which is available at local branches. He needs to specify his need, like, Pension Fund, NAREGA payment, SC/ST/Minority Scholarship etc. In the next stage the local bank verifies the entries made by applicant in the form and sends it further to Bangalore so to get card in the name of applicant. After collecting cards back from Bangalore, applicants biometric details in term of their

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10 figure prints are recorded in it. This card is activated once it is entered the POT machine. All authentications are done through this Biometric card. Mr. Ashish demonstrated how this Biometric card is very secure. In terms of making any transaction one has to give a finger print impression as commanded by machine. This machine will reject the request of transaction if it finds any discrepancy with biometrically stored finger prints and actual finger print. This makes it safe and secure and even an illiterate person cant be cheated with this system, as finger print is unique and comparatively it is much better than ATM PIN Code. 3. Concept of Day Beginning and Day End Slip A Business Correspondent has been given an overdraft facility of Rs. 25000. Once he reaches this limit he has to report it to bank. This is done by giving a day end slip to bank showing the amount of credit disbursed. This day end slip is issued either at the end of day which shows all transactions done in a day or when the BC reaches its credit limit (Rs. 25000). When his limit is renewed then a day beginning slip is generated by him, showing current limit.

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4. Transaction Slips A sample collected by me of various transactions is attached below.

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Interaction with Business Correspondent Mr. Shashi Bhavan


Following points are the main findings which I observed in our conversation Within a time span of 3 months he has linked 200 plus customer indirectly with Bank of Baroda via Integra. Another set of 100 applications were ready so to integrate more customers in this branchless banking model. He lacks formal training from Bank of Baroda. In case of any technical assistance regarding Point of Transaction machine, Mr. Ashish Kumar Verma (Integras Raebareily District coordinator) helped him. His living condition has improved gradually when compared to his only farm income. Working as a Business Correspondent for Bank of Baroda there is substantial rise in his income and also improvement in his social status. He feels his native people respect him more now as compared to his prior farmer image. He feel very comfortable with the machine and till date has not confronted with any mechanical error in it. Awareness level of Mr. Shashi Bhavan regarding other financial product was almost nothing. No knowledge of Financial Literacy and Credit Counseling. Just to inculcate saving habit in the customers he motivate them to save as low as Rs 10 per day.

Interaction with Mr. S.N.Lal Srivastav, Counselor Financial Literacy and Credit Control.
Mr. Srivastav an ex-banker had joined FLCC as a counselor. By nature Mr Srivastav is a very kind and generous person. He told me since the inception of this FLCC center (Jan 8, 2010) 273 individuals have marked their presence in it, and I am 274th. A careful look at the register I tried to find the profile of visitors, I noticed most of them are from Raebareily city. This shows narrow reach of FLCC. To make it more popularize Mr. Srivastav showed me his camp in the local carnival. Set of pamphlets were also there to be distributed, which shows continues effort of Mr. Srivastav to spread awareness among general people.

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CHAPTER 8 MEASURES TO MAKE FINANCIAL INCLUSION MORE EFFECTIVE

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There is need for an attitudinal change, there is need for a change in organizational

structure and there is need for innovative models of delivery at the doorstep. Financial inclusion is no longer an option, it is a compulsion.
Mr. C. Rangarajan (2007). Financial Inclusion: Some Key Issues, Mangalore University

1. To broaden the role of FLCC


I would like to put two cases which I encounter on my visit to Raebareily. a) Passbook? In the first case, I had a conversation with a villager who owns a Passbook but dont know what it is meant for. That person now owns a Bank Account and is said to be a part of financially included segment, sounds ironical to me! A huge part of the problem is that the end users did not understand what an account was meant for. A business facilitator comes to the village, opens an account for them, gives them a passbook but they dont know what that passbook means. b) Insurance? In the second case I did a small survey by contacting 10-12 rural people in Dalmau who have a Bank Account and belong to financially included segment. 99 per cent of my samples do not understand the concept of Insurance. Banks may have all the products, but the poor villager does not know them and what can be done with them. In rural India, death means the end, there is no economic future. So, who will teach them what the concept of insurance is? When a cow dies someone is willing to pay, when a house is destroyed in an earthquake someone is willing to pay. They cannot comprehend these things.

Suggestion
The role of Business Correspondent is very critical and they form the very basis of inclusive financial literacy. There has to be some quality investment on BCs in term of their training, this might increase cost of operation to banks but in long run surely this wont be proved as a sunk cost. Today they are simply told that they have been recruited, they take the account opening form, go to a village, fill that account opening form, they may or may not be in a position to digitize that data. If they are in a position to digitize, they have been told that you digitize and send it to your server and
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that is all. But for an inclusive literacy scope of BCs should be escalated. When a person is visiting a village for financial inclusion as a BC on behalf of a particular organization, he has to first make the people or the end-user understand what the purpose of his visit is and that requires proper training. BC will play a very important role in financial literacy. The primary role that they will play is in educating the people on how it can really benefit them. If we want no-frills accounts to be used, we need to make the connection between banks and BCs much more productive and we need to make people more aware of the kinds of products that they can use. For that there is a need for an awareness campaign. We dont need separate infrastructure for capacity building of BCs; institution like FLCC can be used for this purpose. Their capabilities can be leveraged so to make them pervasive and they should be given some authority to monitor the effective functioning of BCs. FLCC main work is to provide free consultancy services to people, their reach can be widen only through FLCC trained BCs. FLCC should organize weekly camps in the rural branches and objective of such camps should be on disseminating information regarding Micro Insurance, Micro Finance, and Government Sponsored Programmes etc. Proper marketing of FLCC should be done so the real message of setting up FLCC reaches its target audience.

2. Bridging Product Gaps (product innovation)


Too much of our focus has been on Point of Sale, on card, and other things and not really on what does banking give you. Small deposits, insurance products, other investment products and most importantly, small loans are a few products. These are the kind of things with which one needs to go with. It is assumed that poor have no need to save. Fact is they have a more pronounced need to save than all of us. Banks must come up with innovative products which have low risk but a better return than a saving bank account. Product should be customized to village level. To design such a product, whether savings or investment, one will first have to know the cash flow of that particular area, the activity that is being pursued in that area, so household surveys is the starting point. As RBI also insists on quality of financial inclusion, not just on quantitative aspects such a move will be a RBI guideline of quality.
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Any product must first make sense from a customer point of view. The reason why MFIs succeeded is that it gave small loans. Small loans for consumption at reasonable interest will probably become one of the key drivers. Then, the customer does not have to go to the moneylender or even MFI at 24 per cent interest if they can get a 12-16 per cent loan largely for consumption purposes because most of the MFI loans have been by and large for consumption purposes. SBI pioneered with Micro mutual funds at Rs 100 per month for poor people in rural/semi-urban areas. Such endeavor should be taken so to achieve quality financial inclusion.

3. Advance Technology to Minimize the Cost and Provide a Wider Reach


Technology fortunately is moving in a direction where the cost will really comedown. Everybody wants to reduce the cost of transactions and Mobile phone can be a solution for this. Poorer people who are not necessarily even literate can use a mobile phone. This will involve talking on phone, answering questions on phone, talking to the banks computer one will be able to first identify yourself uniquely. Voice authentication fortunately is reaching and becoming superior to even the fingerprint. If one has a mobile phone, the CLI of a mobile phone becomes one authentication point. After that one basically needs a PIN. Instead of PIN voice authentication is far superior and uniquely identifies and works out better. Once somebody is able to uniquely identify himself, one is able to talk in local language to a bank and carry out the transaction. In six months to a year, such technologies will become available and will help in scaling. The key thing is that should it be totally in local language, with the local dialect, with voice authentication and using simplest mobile phone for calling. Voice will end up replacing most platforms.

4. Towards Greater Financial Literacy


For sustaining financial inclusion, financial literacy becomes a very critical component. There is a need to simultaneously focus on the financial literacy part besides delivery / access. The following measures are suggested: Education campaigns to showcase banking services advantages and how to use them.
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Provide training packages at CSCs and other e-kiosks. Utilize Panchayati Raj Institutions to mobilize the people. Greater role for NGOs. Inculcate financial literacy at school itself. Present day school pass-outs need to be a lot more financially literate than their parents were, if they are to manage their personal finances successfully through life. FLCCs may be linked to the RUDSETI Rural Development & Self Employment Training Institutes, which are providing micro-enterprise training.

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Bibliography
Report of the Committee on Financial Inclusion, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Government of India Rangarajan C. (2007). Financial Inclusion: Some Key Issues, Lecture delivered at Mangalore University, Mangalore, August 10, 2007. Rangarajan, Reduce Economic Disparities, Improve Social Indicators, Inclusion, April-June 2009, Banks must promote financial literacy: RBI, The Financial Express, May 28, 2009. Reddy, Y.V. (2006) 'The Role of Financial Education: The Indian Case, Address at the International Conference on Financial Education, OECD and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, New Delhi, September 21, 2006. http://www.adb.org/Documents/Periodicals/Microfinance/finance-200803.pdf Thorat, Usha (2008) Keynote address on Financial Inclusion and Information Technology at Vision 2020 - Indian Financial Services Sector, Mumbai, September 12, 2008. Report of the Committee on Financial Inclusion, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Government of India, January 2008 Thorat, Usha, Financial Inclusion the Indian experience, Speech on June 19, 2007. Financial inclusion still poor in many districts, The Hindu Business Line, January 27, 2009. Promote No-frills Accounts. Hindu Business Line. September 26, 2006. Thorat, Usha. 2007. Financial Inclusion The Indian Experience. Speech made at the HMTDFID Financial Inclusion Conference 2007, London, June 19, 2007 www.rbi.org.in/scripts/speeches

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Leeladhar, V (2005). Taking Banking Services to the Common Man Financial Inclusion The Blue Book: Building Inclusive Financial Sectors for Development, UNDESA and UNCDF, 2006 Vijay Kelkar, Financial Inclusion for Inclusive Growth, N P Sen Memorial Lecture at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, January 13, 2008, http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/BS_SpeechesView.aspx?Id=310 http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/ictd.htm www.bankofbaroda.com www.rbi.org.in www.nabard.org Speeding Financial Inclusion Sameer Kochhar

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