Emphasizing India’s strides towards financial inclusion and digital economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the banking sector has become a vehicle for good governance and better service delivery in the country.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das also attended the launching ceremony via virtual mode.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said the 75 Digital Banking Units will further financial inclusion and significantly improve the banking experience for the citizens.
DBUs are a step towards making the life of the common man simple. He said DBU is a system ensuring maximum services with minimum digital infrastructure.
“Digital Banking Units are significant in the ongoing campaign to simplify the lives of common people. It is a special banking facility that will provide maximum services through minimum digital infrastructure. These services will be free of paperwork and other hassles. These will have facilities as well as strong digital banking security,” he said.
He said the central government has worked on two fronts simultaneously – first, improving the banking system, strengthening it and bringing transparency; and secondly, financial inclusion.
Prime Minister said banking today surpassed financial transactions and has established itself as an example of good governance and better service delivery medium. Today this system has become an engine for growth for MSMEs and private institutions.
“Banking sector has become a medium of good governance and better service delivery. JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) has significantly helped curb corruption. UPI has opened up new possibilities for India,” he said.
Prime Minister said the central government has given top priority to ensuring that banking services reach the last mile.
He said, “We decided that banks themselves will go to the doorsteps of the poor. For this, we had to first reduce the distance between the poor and banks. We reduced the physical distance as well as the psychological distance. We gave the highest priority to taking banks to remote areas.”
“Today, more than 99 per cent of villages in India have either a bank branch, banking outlet or Banking Mitra within 5 km. Today, the number of bank branches for every one lakh adult population in the country is more than countries like Germany, China and South Africa,” PM added.
PM Modi said International Monetary Fund (IMF) appreciated India’s digital banking infrastructure.
“The credit goes to India’s poor, farmers and workers who accepted new techniques bravely and made it a part of their lives. When financial participation connects to digital participation, a new world of possibilities opens,” he said.
Prime Minister said India has achieved sustained growth by replacing ‘phone banking’ with ‘digital banking.
The setting up of 75 DBUs in 75 districts of the country was done to commemorate the 75 years of independence of the country.
According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), DBUs will be brick-and-mortar outlets which will provide a variety of digital banking facilities to people such as the opening of savings accounts, balance-check, printing passbooks, transfer of funds, investment in fixed deposits, loan applications, stop-payment instructions for cheques issued, applications for credit and debit cards, tax and bill payment and nominations.
The PMO statement said DBUs will enable customers to have cost-effective, convenient access and enhanced digital experience of banking products and services all through the year.
The DBUs are being set up to ensure that the benefits of digital banking reach every nook and corner of the country and cover all states and union territories. Eleven public sector banks, 12 private sector banks and one small finance bank are participating in the endeavour.
It said they will spread digital financial literacy and special emphasis will be given to customer education on cyber security awareness and safeguards.
Also, there shall be adequate digital mechanisms to offer real-time assistance and redress customer grievances arising from business and services offered by the DBUs directly or through business facilitators and correspondents.
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