Bangalore, Sept 23: Contesting Karnataka’s claims on 100% financial inclusion (FI) in the state, Reserve Bank of India Governor D Subbarao banks have to cover a lot of ground for achieving full inclusion.
Dr Subbarao, who flagged off a pilot project on financial literacy at Doddaballavanagala village in Doddaballapur taluk of Bangalore Rural district on Tuesday, said Karnataka government has claimed to have achieved 100% FI on May 14, 2009. “But that may not be accurate at the ground level. We do our own evaluation and found that the state has not achieved 100% FI,’’ he said.
The Governor of Reserve Bank of India Dr D. Subba Rao releasing a book titled LEARN LIKE A TORTOISE AND EARN LIKE A HONEYBEE, developed by the Reserve Bank of India, for school curriculum as part of spreading Finance Literature at Doddabelavangala village in Doddaballapur Taluk in Bangalore Rural District on September 22.
Interacting with bankers on their initiatives under 100% FI, the RBI chief said all villages that having 2000 population would be financially included with the support of banks and the government.
Though no-frills accounts were opened in villages, he said they were not active. All households should open bank accounts and actively operate them by accessing all banking facilities, he said.
The RBI, which is celebrating platinum jubilee in 2009-10, has planned several out- reach programmes to obtain feedback on the implementation of schemes in rural parts of the country.
RBI officials, banks, regional rural banks (RRBs) and the government would go to villages not only to disseminate information on banking schemes but also to get experience of the people who benefited from schemes.
The RBI chief visited to the exhibition of products displayed by SHGs and farmers at the village. There were 80 lac farmer-households in the state and Kisan Cards had been distributed to 50 lac farmers so far. All farmers have to be given Kisan Cards to avail credit facilities from banks.
He suggested to the Government to implement pilot project in some select blocks and villages by providing agricultural credit extensively. Based on the field experience, he wanted extension of the project to other blocks.
Emulating the example set by former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, who used to interact with students and even ask them to recite passages or even affirm pledges, the RBI chief too took a class on functioning of RBI and banking system for 750 students of Government Higher Primary School and Government Pre-University College of Doddaballavanagala village in Doddballapur taluk of Bangalore Rural district.
He explained the four major functions of the bankers’ bank (RBI) – price stability to keep inflation within acceptable limits, support for the country’s economic growth, financial stability, and issue of currency.
Enthused by the RBI Governor’s gesture of sharing his wisdom with them, the students showered questions on a wide range of subjects including fake currency, inflation, and the qualification required to becoming the RBI Governor.
He also released a book, “Learn like a Tortoise and Earn like a Honeybee,’’ which would be in the included curriculum for class V, VII and IX students of Government and aided schools in the State to create awareness about value of money and services offered by banks to students. It would be part of the school curriculum from the next academic year (2010-11). The inclusion of financial aspects in the curriculum would help students to understand the role of the RBI and the baking system, he said.
The Governor said RBI would conduct competitions for students in 2009-10 and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa would present the prizes in March 2010. He also directed the RBI regional office to conduct an essay competition on banking exclusively for the school students and present prizes on Gandhi Jayanti Day (October 2) for winners.
Karnataka chief secretary Sudhakar Rao, who received the copies of the financial literacy programme from the Governor, said the several banks, RRBs, cooperatives and State Level Bankers’ Committee worked for the implementation of the FI scheme in the State. State finance Principal Secretary M R Srinivasmurthy, RBI Regional Director B Srinivas, and Department of Public Instruction Commissioner Harish Gowda attended the programme.
After the function, RBI officials distributed compass boxes for all students who attended the programme. The Governor felicitated four school students who had secured highest marks in 10th Class and second year pre-university examination.