In an experiment to empower women through information technology (IT) and promote financial inclusion, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on Sunday launched a pilot project for complete digitisation of women's self-help groups (SHGs) for efficient and hassle-free delivery of banking services.
Inaugurating the programme at Ramgarh in Jharkhand, union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said it would lead to a higher coverage of women under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) for financial inclusion.
"The project will benefit various stakeholders. It will facilitate mainstreaming of SHG members with Aadhar-based financial inclusion and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana enabling access to wide range of financial services," he said.
"Digitisation will bring transparency, credibility to operations of SHGs through inbuilt grading MIS (management information systems) and thereby increasing the comfort of bankers in credit appraisal, disbursement and monitoring," he added.
Sinha also asked Nabard to also launch a pilot project on credit intensification in select backward districts.
On capital formation in agriculture and rural areas he said Nabard will make best use of Long Term Rural Credit Fund of Rs.15,000 crore provided in the union budget for 2015-16.
Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said the data of SHGs and their members will be fed into the input device like tablet or mobile handset, which will be uploaded in the dedicated website with the address www.eshakti.nabard.org.
On Friday, NABARD conducted a 'Round Table Consultation and Policy dialogue on Financing Innovations' with top executives of the banking and financial sector at Rashtrapati Bhavan, as a part of a week-long Festival of Innovations (FOIN) organised here by National Innovation Foundation.
--Indo-Asian News service