Where We stand

http://world-finance-conference.com/papers_wfc/138.pdf

As far as rural areas are concerned, out of 13.83 crore rural households in India, only 4.16 crore rural households have access to basic banking services. In respect of urban areas, only 49.52 per cent of urban households have access to banking services and 34 per cent of the India’s urban population with annual income less than `50,000 have access to banking services. The latest National Sample Survey Organisation survey reports that there are over 80 million poor people living in the cities and towns of India and they lack access to the most basic banking services such as savings accounts, credit, remittances and payment services, financial advisory services, etc. Low-income groups do not have access to the formal banking systems, as they usually do not have the documents needed to open a bank account. As a result, they depend on the informal sector for their savings and loan requirements. Thus, financial inclusion is considered to be critical for achieving inclusive growth, which itself is required for ensuring overall sustainable growth. Recognising the importance of inclusive growth in India, efforts are being taken to make the financial system more inclusive. The present paper is an attempt to examine the present status of Financial Inclusion in India and issues involved in extending banking services to weaker sections of the society.