Back to square one

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This refers to the well-researched article “What next after financial inclusion” by
Jayshree Venkatesan (HBL, April 20). As rightly mentioned the several

initiatives by government, RBI and banks to bring more people under the
banking-fold, to increase the outreach of financial institutions to make
tailor-made financial services available to those new to banking and in a way
per force to bring a section of population which was not trusting mainstream
banking institutions during the last 18 months are praise-worthy. The fact that
over 60 per cent of 14 crore accounts opened under PMJDY, though a matter of
concern, should not stop further measures to bring more people into the banking

The initial enthusiasm of banks to show results might have resulted in opening some
accounts which the clientele may not operate at any time. For example, a second
account opened in the same family or some accounts opened under persuasion may
become inoperative soon. Perhaps, like norms for NPA, RBI may consider
transparent norms for transferring accounts to ‘inoperative’ category, if the
accounts remain dormant and do not serve the purpose for which they were
The ‘target’ of adding 80 crore new bank accounts in India during the 5 years
ending 2020 may be ambitious, considering the fact that many who may prefer
accounts with MFIs and cooperatives may still remain outside the mainstream
commercial banking fold. But, the challenge for India will continue to be the
number of families remaining poor and unable to save anything from their daily
earnings. Plainly put, we are back to square one, where we do not have a
respectable and acceptable prices, wages and income policy.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*Submitted version. Please read published one using the above link.


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