SBI will lead financial inclusion in MP
By Ankit Sharma
Jan 28, 2008
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Bhopal: As a part of the financial inclusion project, the public sector enterprise, State Bank of India (SBI) has embarked on an ambitious journey of attaining 100 percent financial inclusion in 15 areas of Madhya Pradesh.

IT enabled devices and biometric scanners coupled with smart card will provide banking services to far flung areas of the state. As a first step towards fulfillment of this task as much as nine commercial and private banks will be given various districts with two blocks each. Centurion Bank of Punjab, Apex Bank, State Bank of Indore, Bank of India, Narmada Malwa Gramin Bank, Central Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have reacted positively to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBIs) call of a total financial inclusion and have decided to participate actively in this project. SBI is expected to lead this initiative.

The financial inclusion project will be started on a pilot basis in many areas, with active participation from the state government. A common service point will be identified in the project areas, which will offer banking facility. This service point will be manned by a local person, who has a good knowledge of the area and is able to communicate effectively to local population. A database will be maintained by this person with the help of a hand-held device and mobile connectivity. The services of this person will be utilized on a commission basis. Villagers will be given smart cards with biometric identification to access their accounts.

A large part of Indian population is devoid of any banking facility and banks also do not find it economically viable to have a physical presence in every corner of this vast country. Now with the latest initiatives in information technology and biometrics based identification, it will be able to provide banking and micro-credit facilities to the masses with active participation of local people.

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1. First I introduce myself; I am associated with the M. P. Rural Livelihood project (MPRLP) as state coordinator Micro Finance. Project is implemented by Panchayet and Rural Development Department of Govt. of M. P. and funded by DFID U. K. Project aims to enhance livelihood of poor tribal families of eight tribal district of M.P.
MPRLP is working since last three and half years. During our working with Gram Sabha & facilitation of livelihood intervention we found that major part of income of tribal family’s consumed in paying of loan and interest to money lender. Interest rate is too high in some cases 150 % of per annum. Inspire of that much of high interest people is preferring money lender as key credit source because of timely, flexible and UN tide fund, Bank lengthy procedure is also demotiwat people. High repayment % of money lender loan is also showing the importance of relationship.
Our experience says that normal tribal family have fifteen to twenties thousand Rs. annual credit need. That means there is a huge scope for MFIs. Project is also working on strengthening of community institution and support to MFIs to facilitate financial services in remote treble area.
I think Gram Sabah forum can use for promoting SMART CARD intervention, In M. P. each village have a average 5-6 SHG that can also include in strategy, In each village project have two local Livelihood Promoter including one male & one female. Project invested their resources on capacity building of LP, LP have very good reppo with community and also have community need and local social & economical situation so they can also part of financial inclusion strategy.
C. P. Singh Rajawat (Posted: Jun 5, 2008)
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