FINANCIAL INCLUSION

FINANCIAL INCLUSION

 

MEANING OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION   

  • According to the World Bank -Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
  • Financial inclusion ensures financial literacy and Financial democracy for the people.
  • This ensures social, economic and transaction security, improves social harmony, women empowerment, helps reaping the benefit of “Less Cash Economy”
  • Financial inclusion or taking banking services to the common man was the main driver of bank nationalization in 1969 and 1980 powered by three priority areas –
    • Access to banking
    • Access to affordable credit
    • Access to free face-to-face money advice.

 

 

OBJECTIVES OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION  

  • Bank accounts: Ensuring universal access to bank accounts, which are a gateway to all financial services.
  • Digital payment services: Providing access to digital payment services and increasing its penetration.
  • Insurance: Ensuring universal coverage of insurance for life, accidents, etc.
  • Asset diversification: Allowing diversification of asset portfolio of households through increased participation in capital markets.
  • Social Security: a system of payments / assistance by the government to citizens who are ill, handicapped, poor, aged or unemployed.
  • Better access to credit at a reasonable cost for those presently excluded
  • Social Justice: distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society- through reservation in jobs, admissions and election and through legal safeguards for protection of civil rights, prevention of atrocity and personnel laws.

Article 41 (DPSP) State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement;

Article 42 (DPSP) The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

 

NEED FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION

  • Financial inclusion is a key enabler to reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity,
  • An ambitious global goal (World Bank ) to reach Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020.
  • Financial inclusion has been identified as an enabler for 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • Development – financial inclusion would result into higher savings, decrease in income inequality and poverty, increase in employment opportunities.
  • Growth – greater access to formal credit would promote entrepreneurship in country
  • Service delivery – reach targeted beneficiary
  • Bank efficiency and economies of scale
  • Financial inclusion has a multiplier effect in boosting overall economic output, reducing poverty and income inequality, and in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.
  • As per Census 2011, only 58.7% of households are availing banking services in the country. However, as compared with previous Census 2001, availing of banking services increased significantly largely on account of increase in banking services in rural areas.
  • At present, only about 5% of India’s 6 lakh villages have bank branches. There are 296 under-banked districts in states with below-par banking services.
  • Agriculture not only plays the central role for achieving high growth but also inclusive growth for the economy as a whole (generates about 16 per cent of India’s GDP and provides employment to nearly two-third of its population). However, a very large segment of agricultural sector is starved of formal credit, forcing the farmers to borrow from the informal moneylenders at usurious interest rates. This sets a cycle of indebtedness.

 

  • Education
  • Infrastructure
  • Usage
  • Access
  • Quality
  • Social

 

ADVANTAGES  OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION

  • Reduce the gap between rich and poor people
  • Boosts the financial condition and standards of life of the poor and disadvantaged population.
  • Help in implementing social security schemes
  • Lowers the transaction cost for daily economic activity.
  • Enables creation of economic buffers for exigencies
  • Better monitoring and regulation of financial transaction using digital technology
  • Helps government plug leakage in public subsidies and welfare programmes as govt. can directly transfers the subsidy amount into the account of beneficiary.
  • Poor and downtrodden are encouraged to invest in various financial products and can borrow from formal financial channels.
  • Increases the amount of available savings, rate of capital formation and thereby allows tapping of new business opportunities.
  • g. PMJDY, Mudra loans, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Stand-up India

 

COST OF FINANCIAL EXCLUSION

  • The more a country is financialized, the more people who have no access to financial products face difficulties and will suffer from important financial, economic and social consequences.
  • Accepting a job can be more difficult, if there is widespread financial exclusion, as most employers insist on paying wages electronically into an account.
  • Getting access to other financial products (insurance, credit) may depend on being able to pay by direct debit and not having a bank account also reduces credit scores.
  • In the face of widespread financial exclusion, for the affected people the only option in times of need is illegal lenders. Such lenders apply default charges that can be extortionate and arbitraryvicious cycle of perpetual indebtedness sets in.
  • People who save informally (that is not in a bank account) do not benefit from the interest rates and tax advantages that people with savings accounts enjoy. Savings kept in cash at home are vulnerable to theft.
  • If the SMEs sector, are affected by financial exclusion then their potential contribution to the overall economic growth is severely hampered. Further, given the fact that about two-third of the units in this sector are owned by the disadvantaged section, such an exclusion results into a form of social injustice.
  • Financial inclusion broadens the resource base of the financial system by developing a culture of savings among large segment of rural population and plays its own role in the process of economic development.
  • Financial inclusion also mitigates the exploitation of vulnerable sections by the usurious money lenders by facilitating easy access to formal credit.

 

Know Your Customer (KYC)

KYC is the due diligence and bank regulation that financial institutions and other regulated companies must perform to identify their clients and ascertain relevant information pertinent to doing financial business with them.

 

BANKING SECTOR AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION

YEARDEVELOPMENT
1955, 1969, 1980Nationalization of Banks to improve its customer base, reach in various parts and financial inclusion.
1961DICGCI Act – formation of corporation to insure customers deposits in bank.
1966Cooperative Banks under RBI’s Ambit
1969Lead Bank Scheme (State Cooperative Banks – Pvt or Public) given lead role in district. They prepared credit plan with ‘Service Area Approach’, and coordinate with the efforts of Government, banks and NBFCs.
1971State level Bankers’ Committee to monitor progress of financial inclusion
1972Differential rate of interest was introduced to provide bank finance at a concessional rate of interest of 4% per annum to the weaker sections of the community for engaging in productive and gainful activities so that they could improve their economic conditions.
 

 

Regional Rural Bank (RRB) setup through Act – expanded banking in rural pockets. Further, RBI requires commercial banks to setup atleast 25% of their branches in unbanked rural areas. Similar norms for White label ATM Companies.
1992The Self-Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP) started as a pilot programme on the basis of recommendation of S K Kalia Committee.
2005RBI permitted no-frills account with zero balance
2006RBI permitted Banking Business Correspondent Agents to ensure banking in rural and remote areas
2011

 

Government’s Swabhiman to increase banking presence in rural area.
2013e-KYC permitted.
2014

 

Jan-Dhan Yojana, new Private Commercial Banks (Bandhan, IDFC First), Bhartiya Mahila Bank.
2015Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks.
2018India Post Payment Banks
2020The RBI released the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion 2019-2024.

 

Q. Service Area Approach was implemented under the purview of ___________(CSE-2019)

  1. Integrated Rural Development Programme
  2. Lead Bank Scheme
  3. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
  4. National Skill Development Mission

 

PRADHAN MANTRI JAN DHAN YOJANA

  • PMJDY was launched by Dept of Economic Affairs with two phases in 2014.

 

Objectives of PMJDY
1Financial literacy
2Banking within 5 kms
3Account for every family with overdraft, with Ru-pay ATM-cum- DEBIT Card
4Credit Guarantee Fund (For Overdraft defaults)
5Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)
6Sell Micro insurance & pension products through bank.

 

  • PM-JDY bank account can be opened in any Commercial or Cooperative Bank provided RUPAY that bank has CBS and bank is tied with RuPay Payment Gateway.
  • Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account–anyone of Age 10 or above can open Zero balance account. However, Chequebook will be issues only with balance.
  • There are restrictions on max. Number of money withdrawals per month.
  • Overdraft upto INR 10,000 depending on balance history of min. 6 months. Overdraft given on only one account holder in household (preferably woman). Money has to be returned with interest (more than 12 percent) within 3 years. Banks to decide the loan interest rate on same.
  • Every Jan Dhan account comes with free Rs.1 lakh Accident Insurance which will be premium by NPCI, it’s therefore necessary to regularly use card- atleast for checking balance. Union Government employees, and income tax payers not eligible for this free insurance.
  • Significance of Jan-Dhan Account 🡪JAM trinity (Jan-Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile) for targeted and direct transfer of subsidies, scholarship and payments to beneficiaries.

 

Q. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana’ has been launched for__________(CSE-2015)

  1. providing housing loan to poor people at cheaper interest rates
  2. promoting women’s Self-Help Groups in backward areas
  3. promoting financial inclusion in the country
  4. providing financial help to the marginalized communities

 

PM KISAN SAMMAN NIDHI (PM-KISAN)

  • PM-KISAN Scheme inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 24th February, 2019 which provides for transfer of an amount of Rs. 6000/- per year in three equal instalments each of Rs. 2000/- directly into the bank account of beneficiary farmer families.
  • The Scheme initially covered only small and marginal farmer families with land holding upto 2 hectares as beneficiaries, subject to certain exclusion criteria for higher income status.
  • The Govt. later extended the scheme with effect from 1st June 2019 to all farmer families irrespective of land holding size, subject to applicable exclusions.
  • Government Ministry- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • Since the launch of PM Kisan till now about 8.12 crore farmer families have been benefitted under the scheme.
  • A new facility has been provided on PM-KISAN Web-portal (www.pmkisan.gov.in) through ‘Farmers’ Corner’ Link to facilitate the farmers for self-registration, edit  his/her name in PM-Kisan data base as per Aadhar Card, access the beneficiary list and status of payment.
  • The farmers are being facilitated for self-registration and data correction through Common Service Centers.

 

OVERDRAFTS TO WOMEN IN SELF HELP GROUPS (SHGs)

  • Initiative mentioned in Budget-2019
  • Launched by Ministry of Rural Development under National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM)
  • Women SHG interest subvention programme under NRLM will be expanded to all districts.
  • Every verified woman SHG member with a PM Jan Dhan account eligible for overdraft of ₹ 5,000. One woman in every SHG will also be eligible for upto₹ 1 lakh MUDRA loan.

 

JAN DHAN DARSHAK APP (2018)

  • Jointly developed by Department of Financial Services (DFS) & National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  • It helps people find the nearby financial touch points such as Bank branches, ATMs, Post Offices etc.

 

 

INVESTMENTS OTHER THAN BANK FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Poor and lower middle-class person may opt for other investment schemes for better returns than bank deposit rates.

ActSmall Savings Schemes
Govt Savings Bank Act 1873Post Office schemes: monthly, 5 year, savings, time deposit
Govt Savings Bank Act 1873Senior Citizen Savings (2004)
Government Savings Certificate Act 1959National Savings Scheme (NSC) 1959
Government Savings Certificate Act 1959Kisan Vikas Patra 1988-11, 2014
PPF Act 1968Public Provident Fund (PPF)
No ActSukanya Samriddhi Yojana 2015
Deposited Money usually goes into National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) which extended as loans to Union and (selected States) with caveats.
Interest rates are decided by Finance Ministry’s Dept of Economic Affairs on quarterly basis.

 

Dept of Post: POSB vs IPPB

Ministry of Communication

    1.  Dept. of Posts
      1. Post Office Saving Bank
      2. India Post Payments Bank
    2.  Dept. of Telecommunications
  • of Post was setup by Lord Clive in 1766, and was later expanded by Warren Hastings in 1774.
  • Post Office Act was passed by Dalhousie in 1854. He also introduced first postal stamp and rates were decided by weight and not by the distance.
  • Project Arrow for modernization of Post was launched in 2008.
  • The telegram was stopped by India Post in 2013, due to onset of SMS & emails in India.

 

Post Office Savings Bank (PoSB)India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)
Formed under Govt Savings Bank Act 1873

 

Under Companies act 2013. Registered as Public Ltd company in 2016
Savings account only

 

Both Current account and Savings account
Accept time deposits

 

Given payment bank, does not accept time deposits
Can keep more than ₹1 lakh balanceNo, because of payment bank.
E-Banking and online bill payment not directly possible.UPI, BHIM, NEFT, IMPS and BBPS (Bharat Bill pay) available.
Sukanya Samriddhi (daughter’s fixed deposit account) can be openedNot possible. Given payment bank, time deposits are not allowed.
No loans to individual

 

No loans until it becomes Small Finance Bank
Objective – Promote savings habits among poor.Objective – Remittance & digital payments

 

SUKANYA SAMRIDDHI YOJANA (2015)

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is a small saving scheme under the Government of India targeting the parents of any girl children. This scheme focuses on encouraging the parents of the female child for building a fund for their future education and marriage expenses.
  • The Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme provided an interest rate of 8.4% and tax benefits to every account opened under it for July-September 2019.
  • The Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened at any Post office or branch of authorised commercial banks in the country.
  • Under ‘‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’’ , Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme launched in January 2015 has been a great success.
  • More than 1.26 Crore accounts opened across the country under Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme
  • Parents open a (fixed deposit type) bank account in the name of a 0-10 years girl child, and deposit annually ₹ Rupee 250 to 1.5 lakhs till she reaches age of 14.
  • Finance Ministry’s Dept of Economic Affairs announces 9.1% interest rate.
  • Money (principal and interest) can be withdrawn at the age of 18-21 depending on whether married or not. So, it indirectly prevents child marriages and empowers the grown-up daughter with money to pursue higher education, small business etc.
  • One daughter – only one account can be opened in this scheme.
  • Maximum two daughters can be enrolled by parents/legal guardians.

 

 

CHIT FUNDS AND PRIZE CHIT

CHIT FUNDSPRIZE CHITS
Scheme runs for a definite period of e.g. 12 months from Jan to Dec-2020.Scheme is illegal and vaguely designed.
Every month each subscriber deposits equal amount, as stipulated in the scheme document

 

Every month Foreman draws ‘chit’. whichever subscribers’ name comes he may get loan / prize.(in next month, previous winners’ names may not be added to the lottery pool). This way, everyone has an equal chance of winning.

There are no official documents or account books.

 

Scamster will accept whatever small / large amount is offered by the poor person who falls prey.

 

Investor doesn’t know with surety how much is contributed by other investors.

 

Even if you won in Feb-2020, still you’ll have to compulsorily pay monthly deposits until Dec-2020 when the scheme is officially over.Not compulsory to pay the monthly deposits after you’ve won the prize. (Therefore the scheme will collapse eventually, when new subscribers stop coming).
This is legal, under Chit Funds ActThis is illegal under Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes Banning Act, 1978

 

WHY PEOPLES PREFERRED CHIT FUNDS?

  • Low rate of interest on small saving provided by commercial banks are usually not coherent with the market rate.
  • Obtaining formal loan still remains a huge task for a common man as banks, financial institution are plagued by stringent procedures.
  • Less regulated regime at fairly competitive interest rates prevailing in the market makes these schemes easily accessible.
  • Chit funds come handy to meet exigencies like death or ill-health as well as joyous occasions like marriages.
  • These types of scheme promote savings culture as each member is supposed to contribute a fixed amount every month towards the fund.

 

CHIT FUNDS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2019

  • 2019 act aims to amend 1982’s Chit Funds Act.
  • Amendment act will regulate the ‘Chit Funds’, ‘Kuri’, ‘fraternity fund’, ‘rotating savings and credit institution’.
  • Chit must be drawn in the presence of at least two subscribers. Moreover video-conferencing is also allowed.
  • Chit Fund’s fund manager is called ‘Foreman’. New act increases his commission in terms of percentage.
  • New Act also increases the maximum amount of investment the foreman accepts from subscribers.

 

CHIT FUND SCAMS

  • Chit fund is a type of “contract” and subject under Concurrent list of seventh schedule of constitution. So, Union has Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes 1978, Chit Funds Act 1982 (amended in 2019)
  • Moreover, states have their own acts / rules / State regulator of Chit Funds.
  • Saradha Chit Fund scam, Rose Valley Chit Fund Scam🡪The scamsters ran multiple schemes in West Bengal and neighbouring states, invested money in share market, real-estate, shopping malls etc. thus violating the chit-fund laws.
  • Further, any collective investment scheme of ₹100 cr or more requires SEBI permission. Yet they didn’t obtain permission.
  • Moreover, they also engaged in Multi-level marketing (MLM)/Pyramid /Ponzi Selling
  • To avoid such scams in future, Union Govt proposed “Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill 2018” and later ordinance in 2019.

 

NEED FOR STRICTER REGULATIONS OF CHIT FUNDS

  • Fraudulent companies – There have been raising instances of people in various parts of the country being defrauded by illicit deposit taking schemes such as Saradha Chit Fund Scam, Rose Valley Scam etc.
  • Financial Illiteracy – Lack of financial literacy results in people getting duped as they are promised huge return on their investment which has no substantial basis to fulfil.
  • Non-Transparency – Chit funds, especially those catering to a large number of members, are opaque both in their operations and eliciting of bids.
  • Administrative Loopholes –Companies running such schemes exploit existing regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.
  • Lack of Accountability – There is no deposit insurance for investors. If a registered chit fund company files for bankruptcy neither the government nor the Reserve Bank of India can help the investors.

 

BANNING OF UNREGULATED DEPOSIT SCHEMES ACT, 2019

  • If an entity is soliciting public to deposit/invest money, then it could be regulated by RBI (Bank, NBFC-D), NHB (Home loan NBFCs), SEBI (Mutual Funds, ReITs, InvITs etc), IRDAI & PFRDA, Corporate Affairs ministry (NIDHI), State Governments (chit fund), EPFO, Multi state cooperative societies Register under Agriculture Ministry.
  • A deposit-taking scheme is defined as ‘unregulated’ if person is asking people to deposit/invest money but he has not registered with any of the above organizations. E.g. builders, jewellers, etc. Act prohibits advertisement & money collection in it.
  • Penalty upto ₹50 crores and imprisonment upto 10 years along with attaching the assets to refund depositors within prescribed timelines.
  • Union to setup an online central database of deposit-taking activities in the country.

 

CREDIT (LOANS) AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Mudra (NBFC created in 2015)

  • Mudra Units Development & Refinance Agency is 100% subsidiary of SIDBI and also receives the funding from PSL (shortfalls via RBI and budgetary support via Department of Financial Services.
  • MUDRA aims to provides indirect lending via Scheduled Commercial Banks, RRB, Cooperatives, Micro Finance Institutions& other NBFCs through refinancing.
  • Targeted beneficiaries are – Non-Corporate type Micro Enterprises from Agri-allied sectors, manufacturing and service sector.
  • Mudra loans are collateral-free. If borrower defaults on loan, then lender’s losses are covered through Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units [CGFMU] which is operated by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. [NCGTC, 2016]– which is a private ltd company by Dept of Financial Services in Finance Ministry.

 

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)
ShishuLoans upto INR 50000
KishorAbove INR 50000 to 5 lakh
TarunAbove 5 lakh to 10 lakh
  • Budget-2019: One woman in each self-help group (SHG) will be made eligible for ₹ 1 lakh loan under Mudra scheme.
Q. Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana is aimed at_____ (CSE-2016)

  1. bringing the small entrepreneurs into formal financial system
  2. Providing loans to poor farmers for cultivating particular crops.
  3. Providing pensions to old and destitute persons.
  4. Funding the voluntary organizations involved in the promotion of skill development and employment generation.

 

KISAN CREDIT CARD (1998)

  • KCC was jointly launched by RBI and NABARD in 1998
  • Farmer gets credit card from PSB, RRB, State Cooperative Banks.
  • Card holder farmers can swipe it to buy farm inputs (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc.)
  • Moreover he can also withdraw cash (as loan).
  • However, money to be repaid with interest. Accidental insurance also given.

 

Budget-2018Kisan Credit Card (KCC) extended to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers
Budget-2019Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers will get the interest subvention.
Budget-2019Comprehensive drive with a simplified application form to get all farmers under KCC cards.

 

 

INTEREST SUBVENTION

  • Government pays part of the interest rate for borrower. (farmer, MSME, affordable housing etc) such as:
    • Farm loans upto 3 lakhs→ 9% Minus 2% (to all farmers) minus 3% (regular paying farmers)= only 4% loan interest farmer has to pay.
  • Budget-2019🡪Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers with KCC also eligible.
  • MSME🡪 Incremental loans upto ₹1 crore to GST registered MSME industry= 2% subvention. (As such already announced by PM in 2018)

 

PAiSA Portal (2018)

  • A centralized electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) named “PAiSA – Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access”.
  • It has been designed and developed by Allahabad Bank, the nodal bank under the scheme and launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) in 2018.
  • It aims to connect directly with beneficiaries and ensure there is greater efficiency in the delivery of services.
  • PAiSA portal aims to connect with all scheduled commercial banks, RRBs and Cooperative Banks.

 

Before this portalInterest subvention was released manually on a quarterly basis, sometimes delays.
After this portalReleased on a monthly basis, and can be tracked through this portal, beneficiary gets SMS information.

 

CREDIT GUARANTEE

  • Credit guarantee means if borrower defaults to pay interest or principle or both, then losses of banks/NBFCs will be covered by credit guarantor.
  • Credit guarantee facilitates confident without requiring borrower to pledge collaterals.
  • Earlier DICGCI used to give credit guarantee for PSL borrowers, but now this work is done by organizations such as:

 

If the government provides say a 100% credit guarantee up to an amount of Rs 1 crore to a firm, it means that a bank can lend Rs 1 crore to that firm; in case the firm fails to pay back, the government will make good all of Rs 1 crore.

If this guarantee was for the first 20% of the loan, then the government would guarantee to pay back only Rs 20 lakh.

 

Organization Credit Guarantee FundLoans covered

 

SIDBI

+

Government

Credit Guarantee fund trust for Micro & Small Enterprise (CGTMSE)Loans to Micro & Small Enterprise

 

Dept. of financial servicesNational Credit Guarantee Trustee (NCGTC)

 

MUDRA, Stand Up India  Skill & Education loans
Ministry of CommerceExport Credit Guarantee Corporation of India fund (ECGC)Exporters

 

 

Refinance

  • When an AIFI (or MUDRA) gives new finance to Banks/NBFCs based on the quantum of finance they (Bank/NBFC) have already given to end-borrowers.
  • Usually works via the process of securitization of the previous loan papers.

 

 

INSURANCE, PENSION AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Insurance schemes for financial inclusionPostal Life, ESIC, PM Jeevan Jyoti & Surkasha Bima, PM-JAY, PM Fasal Bima.
Pension schemes for financial inclusionEPFO, NPS, Atal Pension, PM Maan Dhan, PM Vay-Vandana, Rural Ministry’s National Social Assistance Program.

(Box)

 

MICRO INSURANCE

  • Insurance policy may be Life/General Insurance with a very low premium.
  • When small sum insured (upto ₹50k) & target audience is poor / villagers / farmers. It may be an individual / group based insurance. Intermediaries such as NGO, SHG, MFI help in selling such policy. Policy/Contracts are given in local language. e.g. LIC’s Jeevan Madhur and Jeevan Mangal

 

SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME FOR GIG ECONOMY

A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements

 

  • The draft Code on Social Security has proposed that the Centre may formulate social security schemes for gig workers.
  • The draft law has defined a gig worker as a “person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee relationship”. E.g. freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers and temporary or part-time hires.
  • Informal workers does not have formal job contracts with employers.
  • While they may have some written contract to deliver services to the company, but the contract is worded in such manner they are not “regular employees” of a company and not eligible for EPFO, ESIC benefits.
  • Labour Ministry drafting a “social security code for all informal & gig workers2019”.
  • Such schemes would encompass issues like “life and disability cover”, “health and maternity benefits”, “old age protection” and “any other benefit as may be determined by the Central Government”.

The report says there has been an increase in freelancers in India from 11% in 2018 to 52% in 2019, thanks to various initiatives including Start-up India and Skill India.

 

OMBUDSMAN OF THE RBI

Banking Ombudsman

 

NBFC Ombudsman

 

Digital Transactions Ombudsman
Estb. in 199520182019
Banking Regulation Act,1949

 

powers to regulate NBFCs under RBI Act, 1934Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007
Customer can file free complaint against any type of bank.Any NBFC-Deposit-taking (e.g. Mahindra, Sriram), OR

 

Any NBFC with assets size of ₹1 billion & customer interface. Although

 

Exempt: Infrastructure finance/debt companies, Core Investment Companies, NBFCs under liquidation. (for them NCLT, SEBI-SCORE).

Prepaid payment instruments, Mobile wallets, Apps, NEFT/RTGS and other digital transactions

 

For amounts upto ₹20 lakhsFor amounts upto ₹10 lakhsFor amounts upto ₹20 lakhs
Ombudsman can order penalty upto ₹1 lakh for customer’s mental agony, waste of time and money
Higher Appeal lies with Dy. Governor of RBI

 

RECENT INITIATIVES BY GoI TO IMPROVE FINANCIAL INCLUSION

  • JAM- Jandhan (banking), Aadhar (trinity), Mobile (transactions)Biometric Identity
  • To improve social security to all citizens – PM Suraksha Bima Yojana and PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
  • Atal Pension Yojana – guaranteed monthly pension to the subscriber
  • To expand ATM network, the RBI has allowed Non-Bank entities to start white label ATMs
  • Banks are deploying micro-ATMs in rural areas.
  • Ru-Pay cards have significantly increased its market share.
  • SHG-Bank linkage programme
  • Financial Literacy Centres have started by commercial banks at the request of the RBI
  • Financial inclusion of women through the implementation of its biometric identification system “Aadhar”.
  • UPI platform built by NPCI.
  • Priority Sector Lending (PSL)
  • Establishment of MUDRA bank
  • Financial literacy centres were launched by commercial banks at the request of the RBI.
  • National Centre for Financial Education was established in 2017 to implement the National Strategy for Financial Education.

Policies delivered at scale, such as universal digital ID – India and Aadhaar / JDY accounts – more than 1.2 billion residents covered

 

NATIONAL STRATEGY ON FINANCIAL INCLUSION(2019-2024) – RBI

  • The RBI released the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion 2019-2024 on January 10, 2020.
  • It sets forth the vision and objectives of financial inclusion policies in India.
  • The strategy was prepared by the RBI with inputs from the central government and financial sector regulators – PFRDA, SEBI, IRDA, etc.
  • The report refers to financial inclusion as the process of ensuring access to financial services, and timely and adequate credit for vulnerable groups and low-income groups at an affordable cost.

 

Common themes across these nations to improve include:

  • Following a target-based approach (by targeting specific sectors)
  • Strengthening requisite infrastructure of payment mechanisms
  • Strong regulatory framework
  • Focus on last-mile delivery and financial literacy
  • Use of innovation and technology
  • Periodic monitoring and evaluation of progress made in financial inclusion

 

Strategic objectives of a national strategy for financial inclusion

CHALLENGES TO FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN INDIA

  • Universal access to financial services
  • Effective coordination
  • Providing basic bouquet of financial services
  • Customer protection and grievance redressal
  • Access to livelihood and skill development
  • Financial literacy and education

 

  • In India, where nearly one-fourth of population is illiterate and below poverty line, ensuring financial inclusion is challenging task
  • Due to this, ensuring deposit operations in the Jan-Dhan account is challenge.
  • High volume of frauds due to financial literacy
  • Money lenders continue to account for nearly 30 percent of total banking business
  • Most of commercial banks operate in commercial and urban areas. Hence rural population finds difficult to access financial services.
  • Lot of hidden banking charges have demotivated and disincentivised poor customers.
  • Making banks accessible for peoples with disabilities
  • Lack of credible, low-cost and high-quality financial advice.
  • Difficulty in understanding different product offerings, financial terms, and conditions.
  • The rising level of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of banks due to the large corporates makes it difficult to improve financial inclusion situation in India.
  • Gender inequality = Most women are being excluded from the formal financial system.

 

Concerns w.r.t Financial inclusion

  • PMJDY has ensured universal access to bank account and India now has 180 billion accounts. However, 48% of those accounts haven’t seen any transaction in the last one year.
  • Only 33 percent of all beneficiaries were ready to use their RuPay cards.
  • India is a cash-intensive economy, still India remains among countries with the lowest access to digital payments.
  • Financial illiteracy, safety, and security concerns prevent people from moving towards the digital mode of payments.
  • About 76% of the adult population in India does not understand even the basic financial concepts.
  • Misuse of SHGs – Panchayats are now competing with NGOs and rural banks in forming SHGs due to the qualification for government subsidy – Political pressure and misuse of funds.

 

WAY FORWARD

  • A financial inclusion strategy sensitive to regional, demographic and gender related factors need to be carefully crafted.
  • Digitization of land record Bringing SHGs into financial main streams
  • Proper financial inclusion regulation in the country to access financial services.
  • Financial inclusion is necessary before comprehensive success of mobile wallets.
  • Financial services must be made accessible for people with disabilities at par with non-disabled persons.
  • NABARD has an extensive presence across country; it should be made the nodal and accountable agency for financial inclusion.
  • Requires grass root level research as to why people prefer to go to money lenders, despite a network of banks, cooperatives, MFIs and SHGs.
  • As India uses Aadhar to advance goal of financial inclusion the government must examine and put into place a robust regime for data protection.

 

FINANCIAL INCLUSION: INDIA’S PERFORMANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Microscope Report 2019

 

●        Annual report started in 2007, to measure financial inclusion levels, this report is prepared by The Economist Magazine’s Economist Intelligence Unit, Accion global NGO & partners like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,  Metlife foundation etc.

●        Ranking (2019) – Columbia (1), India at 5th rank among 55 nations.

●        2019’s report measures gender gap in financial inclusion for the first time.

Over the years, this report identified following challenges in India:

1.       Lack of full interoperability across payment systems.

2.       Lack of financial literacy, no trust in financial system or buying insurance.

3.       Pervasive digital divide, grievances redressal. Extreme poverty, no surplus to save/ invest.

4.       Missing land/property records make access to loans difficult.

 

 

 

Financial Inclusion Index by DFS

 

●        Proposed by Department of Financial Services (DFS) in 2018.

●        This annual index will have three measurement dimensions;

1.       Access to financial services

2.       Usage of financial services

3.       Quality.

●        It complies with the format prescribed by the G20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global FINDEX Database 2018

●        By World Bank with help of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

●        It’s published every 3 years. It doesn’t give ranking but measures how many percentage of people have access to banking, credit etc. in a given nation.

●        2017’s report appreciated PM-Jan Dhan, now we are parallel to China in percentage of population with bank account. Financial inclusion helps bringing rich poor divide through targeted delivery of subsidies via J-A-M (Jandhan, Aadhar, Mobile)

 The gender gap in account ownership remains stuck at 9 percentage points in developing countries, hindering women from being able to effectively control their financial lives. – World Bank