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New Delhi, June 26

The Government has constituted a 10-member committee under the chairmanship of Dr C. Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, to prepare a strategy of `financial inclusion.'

The committee has been asked to submit its report by November 30, 2006.

An official release said that the committee would study the pattern of exclusion from access to financial services disaggregated by region, gender and occupational structure. It would also identify the barriers confronted by vulnerable groups in accessing credit and financial services, including supply demand and institutional constraints.

The terms of reference of the committee includes review of the international experience in implementing policies for financial inclusion and examining their relevance/applicability to India.

The Committee has also been asked to suggest strategy to extend financial services to small and marginal farmers and other vulnerable groups, including measures to streamline and simplify procedures, reduce transaction costs and make the operations transparent.

Moreover, the committee has been asked to suggest measures including institutional changes to be undertaken by the financial sector to implement the proposed strategy of financial inclusion. It would also be required to provide a monitoring mechanism to assess the quality and quantum of financial inclusion including indicators for assessing progress.

The members of the committee are Mr Vinod Rai, Special Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr (Ms) Rohini Nayyar, Advisor, Rural Development, Mr M.B.N. Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, Canara Bank, Mr Yogesh Agarwal, Managing Director, State Bank of Patiala, Prof. Mahinder Dev, Director, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, Mr Vijay Mahajan, CEO, BASIX, Mr R. Gopalkrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons, Mr A.P. Fernandes, Director, MYRADA and Dr Y.S.P. Thorat, Chairman, Nabard.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 27, 2006)
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