The district with more than six lakh households and population exceeding 32 lakh is having more than 37 lakh savings bank accounts now.

Ernakulam is set to become the first district in the country to have 100 per cent banking. The district will be dedicated to the nation as the first one having Meaningful Financial Inclusion on November 22 at a function here.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, State Finance Minister K.M. Mani, Union Minister K.V. Thomas, RBI Governor D. Subbarao, UID Chairman Nandan Nilekani and CEOs of major banks are expected to attend the function.

K.R. Jayaprakash, Lead District Manager, told Business Line that the process had started at the instance of Subbarao during his last visit to the district in March to attend an outreach programme.

Impressed with the high level of financial inclusion in the district, the RBI Governor had urged the bankers to graduate themselves to the second level of financial inclusion by making it more meaningful with every family having an active operative bank account and dependence on the organised banking sector.

Union Bank of India, the lead bank for Ernakulam, was given the leadership in this initiative.

Through carpet coverage based on a baseline survey conducted through the Kudumbasree Mission, the banks have now fulfilled the mission by opening lakhs of bank accounts, mainly basic savings bank accounts and ensured that all families in the district, except voluntary exclusions, are having bank accounts.

Jayaprakash said that the district with more than six lakh households and population exceeding 32 lakh is having more than 37 lakh savings bank accounts now. As many as 41 commercial banks, 1 RRB, 1 district co-op bank and strong presence of cooperative banks inculcated banking habit among the public.

With credit products such as Kisan Credit Card, general purpose Credit Card, DRI loans, debt swapping products and retail credits, the banks are well-prepared to accommodate all those who require genuine credits at affordable interest rates.

It is expected to nurture a refined banking culture among the people and relieve them from the clutches of money lenders, he said.

Banks are also fully equipped with remittance products such as RTGS, NEFT, mobile banking, e-banking etc with very low service charges and ensuring finality of payments, along with the core banking solutions. The migrant labour force will also benefit from these easy and affordable ways to transfer their funds quickly to the destination, he said.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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