Role of Banks in Bringing Financial Inclusion in Rural India

Abstract

Pooja Rakhecha & Dr. Manish Tanwar

Banking sector plays considerable role in bringing financially excluded people in to formal financial sector as policies of the government and Reserve Bank towards financial inclusion are implemented through banking sector. In order to expand the credit and financial services to the wider sections of the population, a wide network of financial institutions has been established over the years in India. The organized financial system comprising Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs), Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) and post offices caters to the needs of financial services of the people. The initiatives taken by the Reserve Bank and the Government of India towards promoting financial inclusion since the late 1960s have considerably improved the access to the formal financial institutions. However, the banking industry's penetration to un-banked areas is still found sluggish. “The role of the Indian banker is challenging. At one end of his spectrum lies the demand to achieve financial inclusion as nearly 50 per cent of the population is yet to be covered under the formal system of banking and at the other end lies the task to fulfil the needs of the existing customer,” said RBI Deputy Governor K. C. Chakrabarty while speaking on ‘Connecting the dots' at the CII conference. This article makes an attempt to assess the role of banking sector in financial inclusion process in India.

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