In order to increase the reach of banking services, the government has notified the private and public banks in the country to prepare their board-approved financial inclusion plans. They were also told to make these plans integral to their corporate strategies and widen the reach of services offered by the banks.
Minister of state finance, Jayant Sinha, while addressing through his written reply in Lok Sabha said, “These plans broadly include self-set targets in respect of rural brick-and-mortar branches opened, business correspondents (BCs) employed, coverage of unbanked villages with population above 2000 as also other unbanked villages with population below 2000 through branches/BCs/other modes”. He further added that there should be no further incorporation of services like “no-frills accounts, opened through BC-ICT, Kisan Credit cards and general credit cards issued.”
Talking about the influential and widely successful Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojna, Sinha said that it has provided banking accounts for every household, given them financial literacy and allowed them to access credit, insurance and pension. They have also received a RuPay debit card along with an accident cover of Rs. 1 lakh. Till 1 January, 2016, over 24.85 crore RuPay cards have been issued by the National Payments Corporation of India.
On questioning about the rising bad loans in the Indian banks Sinha stated that the increase in non-performing assets of banks is resulted due to the slowdown in the recovery of the global economy. The continuous uncertainty over the global market has resulted into lower exports of various Indian products, which is turn has resulted into losses for various companies. He further added, “The government has taken specific measures to address issues in sectors such as power, road, steel, textiles, where incidence of NPAs is high.”