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  • Tech banking can help govt schemes reach the poor faster: PM

    Published on September 18, 2010

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants technology-driven banking models to be fully exploited so that the benefits of the UPA flagship programmes, such as NREGA and pensions, reach the villages faster.

    “The Prime Minister desired that these technology driven banking models must be fully exploited to ensure that the benefits under the various Government programs such as NREGA, pensions etc become available to the beneficiaries living in remote villages faster, more efficiently and with lesser intermediation cost,” an official statement said.

    The Prime Minister also reviewed the safety and security measures put in place for banking transactions being executed through business correspondents.

    Dr Singh reviewed the progress made towards financial inclusion by banks in India with RBI Governor D Subbarao and financial services secretary R Gopalan.

    Deputy Governors RBI Usha Thorat and KC Chakrabarty were also present.

    PM was briefed on the efforts being made by banks to take banking services through information and communication technology based models and banking intermediaries to 73,000 rural habitations having population of over 2000 as per the 2001 census by March, 2012, the statement added.

    SBI Chairman O P Bhatt and Punjab National Bank CMD K R Kamath presented through hand-held devices the various technologies of branch less banking being used by them to take banking services to rural areas. These services include deposit, withdrawal, remittances and other facilities.

    India has about 32,000 rural bank branches, and the government in order to facilitate inclusive growth throughout the country has in the Budget Speech 2010-2011 directed banks to extend the reach of financial services to all the villages having a population of more than 2000.

    This would enable hinterland to become fully connected with the financial sector in India.