After the state government, United Nations has revealed that bankers are making half-hearted efforts to implement financial inclusion programme in the state. A study conducted by UNDP reveals that only 37 per cent adult population in Madhya Pradesh has exposure to financial inclusion. Lack of awareness among people towards financial products and services are the prime reason behind poor progress in the programme which will ensure banking facility in rural and backward areas.
According to data available with Business Standard, though the bankers have launched the programme in all 50 districts in the state, of the total 55,393 villages only 18,031 villages have been covered under the programme.
“The state government had earlier floated a draft memorandum of understanding to be signed by the bankers under the concept of ‘one district one bank’ so that all the government sponsored schemes can be covered under the financial inclusion programme. The banks will provide funds as well pertaining to the schemes, but bankers are moving ahead at snail pace,” said a senior government official.
On the other hand, bankers have said connectivity is the main issue causing hindrance to the implementation of the programme in all the districts.
“The Central government and Nabard have setup a Financial Inclusion Technology Fund to assist commercial banks, regional rural banks and cooperatives in 60:80:90 ratio but bankers have yet not responded properly,” said the official.
A number of banks have made no progress in various districts and have opened zero accounts. Banks like Bank of India, Union Bank and Bank of Baroda have made no progress in districts like Khandwa, Sidhi, Rewa and Jhabua. Earlier, the state government had talked tough to bankers and had said it would hand over the task to its own banks, like cooperatives banks and regional rural banks. UNDP has launched its efforts in seven backward states of the country including Madhya Pradesh.