Bank of India (BoI) had adopted Tembhali village of Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district for financial inclusion. So, it was not a surprise that the bank opened 1,400 new accounts in the village on the day the Aadhar project was launched.
The bank had an important role in the UID launch, as villagers given the identity number was also given Rs 100 each, debited to their bank account, opened in the Bank of India branch.
What surprised many was the absence of bank’s top brass on a day when both the Prime Minister and the Congress president were around to launch the UPA government’s showcase project. Some BoI officials said they had not received any invite. Others said this was because of ‘moral suasion’ by the finance ministry. Apparently, some finance ministry officials were not too pleased with the way the financial inclusion agenda has been hijacked by others in the system. “The hijack game was started by the finance ministry itself. Financial inclusion was the Reserve Bank of India’s brain child, which the ministry took away,” a banker observed.