Macro Economy

Queen Maxima hails India’s financial inclusion goals

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 02, 2014

One for all, all for one Queen Maxima of Netherlands, and Raghuram Rajan,Governor, RBI, addressing a press conference in Mumbai. - Photo: SHASHI ASHIWAL   -  Business Line

Despite the uncertainty on the exact definition of poverty, Reserve Bank of India Governor, Raghuram Rajan, said there should not be a choice between people when it comes to providing financial services — whether poor or not. “There is so much demand for financial services in this country that you don’t need to delineate that …you get it and you don’t…everybody needs it,” Rajan told reporters at a conference after hosting a lunch for Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

The Queen, who is the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, was on a visit to India to promote the need for financial inclusion globally.

Explaining to the Dutch queen, Rajan said there is a fair amount of discussion on where the poverty line is in India, and whether it is set at an adequate level and “who the poor really are.” “Just creating an environment in which it can expand is enough. We have to work on creating that environment. But we don’t need to choose between people. Whoever can benefit, they should get it,” Rajan added. Queen Maxima appreciated India’s efforts and mentioned the extensive use of mobile phones and prepaid cards, one of the channels to reach last mile connectivity.

“India has a lot of learning already. I am happy to see the good work being done in the direction of financial literacy to achieve the inclusion goals,” the queen said. She called for more innovative efforts at the delivery channel side and making financial products available to low-income households.

Former RBI governor and ex-chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, C Rangarajan, on Monday submitted a report on the Suresh Tendulkar Committee’s methodology of estimating poverty to the Planning Commission.

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Published on July 02, 2014
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