Money & Banking

Pranab asks banks to focus on financial inclusion

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 22, 2011 Published on December 22, 2011

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, has urged banks to speed up their financial inclusion efforts, stating that this was important for achieving higher economic growth.

“We shall have to go a long way in achieving financial inclusion in the country. This (financial inclusion) is important for sustained high economic growth rate and to address the chronic problem of poverty, deprivation and disparity,” Mr Mukherjee said at the centenary celebration of Central Bank of India here on Wednesday.

The Government has already stipulated that habitations with population in excess of 2,000 should have banking facilities by March 2012. It has permitted use of innovative models such as branchless banking through business correspondents.

Currently, there are 85,300 bank branches in the country, much higher than the 8,700 branches at the time of bank nationalisation in 1969. Of these 85,300 branches, about 32,000 branches are in rural areas.

Although the number of bank branches has grown steadily over the last four decades, there is still room for banks to expand their branch network.

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Published on December 22, 2011
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