The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley launched the Financial Inclusion Index (FII) in New Delhi on September 24, 2018. The index was launched after the Finance Minister’s annual performance review meeting with the CEOs of public sector banks.
The annual index will be released by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance by the end of this year and it would rate states on their performance on last-mile banking services availability. The index will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.
The index will include the following three measurement dimensions:
(i) Access to financial services
(ii) Usage of financial services
• The single composite index gives a snapshot of the level of financial inclusion that would guide the macro policy perspective.
• The various components of the index will help measure financial services for use of internal policy making. The index can also be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators.
• Further, the index enables fulfilment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements.
• It will also facilitate researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macroeconomic variables.
As a part of financial inclusion initiative, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance along with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile application called ‘Jan Dhan Darshak’.
The application will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.
The app will be in a unique position to provide a citizen-centric platform for locating financial service touch points across all providers such as banks, post office and common service centres (CSC).
These services could be availed as per the needs and convenience of the common people.
Over 5 lakh financial service touch points including bank branches, ATMs and post offices have been mapped on the application and approximately 1.35 lakh bank mitras would be brought on board by December 1, 2018.
The following are the salient features of the app:
• Find nearby Financial touch points, based on the current location
• Search by place name
• Search by place name also available with Voice Interface
• Phone number of bank branches available in the app, with the facility of call button for integrated dialling
• Users’ feedback will go directly to the concerned bank for carrying out the necessary updation in data on financial touch points.
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