Essay: UN – financial inclusion (Page 2 of 2)

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  • Subject area(s): Finance essays
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  • Published on: November 16, 2017
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Year ended

March 2016

1

Banking Outlets in Rural locations -Total

67,694

586,307

2

Urban Locations covered through BCs

447

102,552

3

BSBDA-Total (No. in million)

73.5

469.0

4

BSBDA Total (Amt. in ₹ billion)

55.0

638.1

5

OD facility availed in BSBDAs (No. in million)

0.2

8.0

6

OD facility availed in BSBDAs (Amt. in ₹ billion)

0.1

14.8

7

KCCs -Total (No. in million)

24.3

47.3

8

KCCs -Total (Amt. in ₹ billion)

1,240.1

5,130.7

9

GCC-Total (No. in million)

1.4

11.3

10

GCC-Total (Amt. in ₹ billion)

35.1

1,493.3

11

ICT-A/Cs-BC- Total number of transactions (in million) *

26.5

826.8

12

ICT-A/Cs-BC- Total amount of transactions (in ₹ billion) *

6.9

1,686.9

CHALLENGES TO FINANCIAL INCLUSION

The steps taken by the Indian Government as well as the RBI have without a doubt brought about a significant change insofar as the access of the lower income groups to the financial and banking services concerned. However, the hoped for results would not follow the concrete efforts made if immediate steps are not taken simultaneously to alleviate illiteracy and educate the rural masses as India still has the highest number of illiterates at around 290 million according to a report published by UNESCO in 2016. As of 2011, according to a report published by a leading news magazine, as of 2011, the enrolment rate for pre-primary schools is 58 per cent and 93 per cent for primary schools. However, among rural children of age 10, half could not read at a basic level, despite the high overall enrolment rate for primary education and over 60 per cent were unable to calculate division based sums, and half dropped out by the age 14.

Lack of education leaves the elderly and the women, most vulnerable to malpractices vis-à-vis digital and financial transactions where such individuals often bank upon their relatives, friends or banking correspondents to avail or make use of financial services. The reports of banking correspondents giving one Personal Identification Number to all the residents of a single village to ensure ease of business reflect the poor state of implementation of these schemes. Furthermore, the inability to of such individuals to understand the working of digital transactions and the processes entailed, have turned out to be a huge roadblock in the effective implementation of these schemes. It is no secret that the Jan Dhan accounts have underperformed largely due to the people belonging to the informal sector being unable to make recurring deposits on account of seasonal, unplanned and uncertain income. The reports of Jan Dhan accounts being used by the rich and powerful in the name of vulnerable individuals post demonetization to deposit old currency expose the loopholes in the financial system of the country. Therefore, financial inclusion schemes would fail to attain the desired objective if the more fundamental problems that are facing the country such as lack of basic education and poverty are not eliminated.

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