Varying perspectives on the changing landscape of financial inclusion in the country that aims at delivering affordable financial services to those currently outside the purview of such services – mostly the poor– from the viewpoint of banks, stock exchanges and the role of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with its Aadhaar card that aids the central government in identifying members of the public to enable the dispensation of monetary benefits more effectively and thus improve financial inclusion – were the highlights of Dun & Bradstreet’s 3rd Financial Inclusion Series scheduled in Mumbai.
As the world’s leading provider of business information, knowledge and insight, Dun & Bradstreet’s aim in holding this year’s session was to cast light on the nature and extent of change that is being witnessed in the country with regard to optimizing financial inclusion of its citizenry. Programmes, including the recently-launched PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana, Atal Pension Yojana and other pension, insurance and banking schemes are actively seeking to extend financial inclusion in India and it is in this light that the conclave was held.
Ms Preeta Misra, Director – Learning Solutions, Dun & Bradstreet India welcomed the gathering and said, “Financial Inclusion has been accorded high importance to aid the inclusive growth process for any economy. In order to spread financial inclusion in every area, financial literacy has to be provided to castes that do not have finances. For this, banks have to play a vital role so that financial inclusion can be made available to grass root level. In this regard, D&B India has undertaken various capacity building initiatives for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and has conducted over 250 programs across different clusters. In fact, D&B manages the world’s most valuable commercial database with information on more than 240 million plus companies. D&B India has over 10 million records in its database of which 90% consists of the small and medium enterprises. Through seminars such as the Financial Inclusion Conclave, D&B will continue to be committed to this sector and the development of MSMEs.”
Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE Ltd. said “For financial inclusion, the intermediation system (banking) and disintermediation (stock markets) systems both will have to work hand in hand to provide financial inclusion to the society. Both the systems will have to reach out to the last village and last person in India to bring him or her in the mainstream. Financial inclusion function is similar to the one performed by blood circulation system in the human body. Taking nourishment and oxygen to every cell in the body. Similarly, financial system can take the credit to every nook and corner of the system making every individual realize his or her own potential and in the process make the country stronger and promote growth. Technology has reduced the cost to reaching out to people and onus is on the financial system to help the country in achieving its objective of consisting growth in the range of 9% to 10% per annum for a long duration.”
Mr. Subrata Gupta, Chief General Manager – Financial Inclusion, NABARD said “When we look back from the future, we will be proud to say that we were the game changers in social security schemes.”
Elaborating on the topic of Financial Inclusion Mr. L. M. Deshmukh, General Manager – Financial Inclusion and Convener SLBC for Maharashtra, Bank of Maharashtra said “Meaningful Financial Inclusion with the help of Aadhar will definitely be a key for Economic Development of the excluded class of the society benefiting the development of the nation.”
Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Chief General Manager & Country Head – SFMC, PSIG, P&D, GSC, SIDBI said “Nurturing the Inclusive Revolution through Leadership in Financial Inclusion”.
Dr. A. M. Pedgaonkar, Chief Advisor – Banking Technology, Indian Banks’ Association said “Financial inclusion Affordable to the customers and sustainable for the providers.”
Mr. Kumar P. Saha, Managing Director, Senrysa Technologies Pvt. Ltd. said “Customers are more or less aware that they need to have an account for their future’s safety. Banks cannot open branches everywhere, the alternatives are business correspondents or kiosks: Senrysa has more than ten thousand kiosks all over India where people can do all kinds of financial transactions.”
Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey (IAS), Deputy Director General, UIDAI Regional Office, Mumbai, Government of India highlighted UIDAI Perspective on Aadhaar and said “With more than 88cr people already having Aadhaar and with resolve to enroll every Indian for Aadhaar, Aadhaar platform is going to be the foundation of digital India and will pave the way for financial inclusion of every Indian.”
The event saw a panel discussion on understanding the financial inclusion landscape and an assessment of the impact of financial inclusion moderated by Mr. Subrata Gupta, Chief General Manager, Department of Financial Inclusion& Banking Technology, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. Institutions pivotal to promoting financial inclusion in the country such as the Small Industries Development Bank of India, the Indian Banks’ Association and the UIDAI were among those represented at the discussion.