Stressing on the significance of financial inclusion, especially in the aftermath of impact of the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said that the central bank’s focus will now be on identifying customers, covering the last mile and providing relevant products which are affordable and safe.
Addressing a summit on financial inclusion, Mr Das said that RBI is now looking to address issues pertaining to vulnerable segments of economy and population, and at the same time giving attention to consumer protection.
He said that in the post pandemic era, financial inclusion would be one of central bank’s major priority areas.
“RBI will continue to address the concerns of over-indebtedness of micro finance borrowers, enable market mechanism to rationalise the interest rates, and empower the borrowers to make an informed decision by enhancing transparency of loan financing,” said Mr Das.
Efforts would be made through policy initiatives to ease the credit flow at low costs, which would include lowering of policy rates, launching of liquidity schemes and distributing it through financial institutions to resolve stressed loans of both small and medium enterprises as well as individuals.
Ensuring transparency in loan financing will also be a focus area for RBI in order to ease the burden of small borrowers, Mr Das added.
In addition to this, the Governor said that the central bank will also concentrate on developing payment acceptance infrastructure in smaller cities and towns as well as in the north-eastern states.
He also said that in order to improve financial literacy, financial education will be imparted to school children and it will be made a part of curriculum in schools.
Elaborating on the growing reach of digital coverage, Mr Das quoted figures and said that in March 2021, banks received digital coverage of 95.9 per cent of individuals while achievment for businesses stood at 89.8 per cent.
With ease in digital transactions by immediate payment service (IMPS) and unified payments interface (UPI), more than 15 crore transactions took place per day digitally on an average in June 2021. These transactions ammounted to nearly Rs 4.5 crore per day, the RBI chief informed in his 30-minute address.