95% of farmer households in NE sans banking

Executive Director of the RBI, DK Mohanty addressing the gathering at the ‘Financial Outreach’ camp held on Wednesday, March 23 in at Chumukedima village.
DIMAPUR, MARCH 23 (MExN): The Reserve Bank of India as part of its platinum jubilee celebrations is currently in the midst of ‘Financial Outreach’ campaign to reach out to the ‘unbanked’, particularly at the rural areas.  The mission is to extend hundred percent ‘financial inclusion’ to every household in the country.
The Executive Director of the RBI, DK Mohanty was in Dimapur on Wednesday, March 23 attending one such outreach camp organised at Chumukedima village. Today’s was the fifth such camp held in the north east this year. Other officials present at the camp included - Surekha Marandi, Regional Director, RBI Guwahati; Kevikha Kevin Zehol, Deputy Secretary, Finance; CC Mitra, Director, IIBM; BB Sangma, Banking Ombudsman, Guwahati; Dr Bhaskar J Sharma, GM SBI, Guwahati;  Dr US Saha, GM, NABARD, Dimapur; DC Maongwati Aier and officials from other financial institutions.
RBI on mission mode to reach banking to the rural folks
The apex financial institution of the country has already conducted one at Khonoma village under Kohima district in November last year during the first phase of the campaign (2009-10).
The efforts of the RBI, notwithstanding, Mohanty revealed that 75 years since the foundation of the RBI: “As many as 145 million households or about 43% of the adult population in the country still do not have access to banking…” The situation is grimmer in the north east.  “About 95% of the farmer households (in the region) do not have access to formal finance.”
It is high time that the villagers should the take lead role side by side with the formal banking system in making their villages as productive units and self sufficient, Mohanty challenged. As such, the RBI is on mission mode to bring the remaining 47% of the population under the fold of mainstream banking system inorder to achieve ‘financial inclusion’ in every nook and corner of the country.
“We are here with you today to share your dream of ‘financial inclusion’ and interact and share your experience regarding availability of banking services and understand the problems… in a better way. In this mission, everyone has an important role and responsibility to play and the rewards and benefits will also be enjoyed by all.” To this end, he informed that there are a plethora of initiatives which have been launched for the northeast like capital subvention (financial assistance) for recurring expenses for opening branches, provided the state governments concerned grant the premises and security.
Mohanty emphasized that the RBI want to ensure that every adult villager has a bank account and are able to save their money and avail bank loans. Emphasizing on loans, he said that they are unlike subsidies or grants. Loans should be used mainly for productive purpose since they have to be paid back with interest, he stressed. “Once you pay back your loan you will have a good rapport with the bank and you will get a bigger loan in the next round which will be a win-win situation for both the bank and you.”
“There is also a plan extend banking services to all villages with population of 2000 and above by 2012.” “The RBI has identified 196 such villages in Nagaland and allotted to various banks. The services will either be brick of mortar branches, through once a week mobile services or through banking correspondences according to the capacity of the banks,” he said.
He also put in a word of caution, urging the villagers to be wary of unscrupulous companies and other entities collecting deposits from the general public illegally under various schemes through network marketing.  Some of these companies even claim fraudulently that they have the RBI’s approval, he further warned.