The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today urged the Reserve Bank of India to take the lead in encouraging financial institutions to set concrete targets for financial inclusion over the next 20 years, to help transform the quality of life of the poor. "I come as a representative of the poor, underprivileged, marginalized and tribals; I am one among them; I seek on their behalf and trust you will not disappoint me," the Prime Minister said, at the RBI Conference on Financial Inclusion, which also marked the completion of 80 years of the Reserve Bank of India.
He encouraged RBI to set goals on intermediate targets: of 2019, when the country will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi; 2022, 75 years of independence; 2025, 90 years of RBI, and 2035, 100 years of RBI.
The Prime Minister said the success of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG subsidy, had shown the potential of the enormous role that the banking sector can play in ensuring financial inclusion.
The Prime Minister called for making financial inclusion a "habit." He asked banks to take inspiration from the success of women self-help groups. He asked banks to keep in mind the requirement of youth who needed either knowledge or skills. He also gave the example of the soon-to-be-launched MUDRA initiative in this regard. He urged banks to come up with creative financial inclusion instruments to help prevent farmer suicides.
The Prime Minister said that along with economic and social parameters, there is need to think of a geographical parameter as well for financial inclusion. He said eastern India had immense economic potential, and the banking sector should recognize and plan for this.
Appreciating the role played by RBI over the last 80 years, the Prime Minister complimented the RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan, for his grasp and clarity on economic issues.
As part of the Make in India initiative, the Prime Minister urged RBI to take the lead in ensuring that India starts to manufacture the paper and ink that are used to print currency notes.
The Governor of Maharashtra Shri Vidyasagar Rao, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis, the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, and the Governor of the RBI Dr. Raghuram Rajan were present on the occasion.