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Cell banking for financial inclusion

Current Affairs

HTML clipboardTHE Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has reportedly asked the department of telecommunications to find ways to expand mobile banking services to the remotest corners of the country. A pilot project to take financial services to the poorest of the rural poor through mobile banking is likely to be launched in 2012 to cover select villages.
 The move is part of the UPA regime's initiative to ensure financial inclusion of the poor. The government is keen to make sure that poor with mobile phone connections can carry out financial transactions using their handsets, including receipt of wages and payments, even if they do not have bank accounts.
 As of now, almost 41% of the country's adult population does not have a bank account. This, the government feels, is a major roadblock in delivering financial services to the poor, especially in rural areas. In some cases, such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, attempts are being made to provide wages through smart cards.
 The number of mobile phone connections in India is estimated at about 440 million, reaching roughly 38% of the country's population.

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