THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has achieved the target of 100 per cent coverage of bank accounts for families. Making the declaration at the State-Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting held at Durbar Hall of the Secretariat here on Tuesday, Finance Minister K M Mani said Kerala was the first state in the country to achieve the Prime Minister’s ambitious goal of providing universal banking facilities.
“Under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Kerala is now the first state to achieve this rare distinction,” he said.
Mani said Kerala had many firsts to its credit. In fact, whenever an socio-economic programme that is built on principles of equity and fairness has been introduced, Kerala has invariably been the leader among all states in implementing it.
Kerala has completed the most important step towards assuring real financial inclusiveness, by ensuring 100-per cent coverage of all families with bank accounts.
In 2013, the rating agency CRISIL developed the first ‘Financial Inclusion Index’ in the country. In this ranking, Kerala was among the top three states and Union Territories, the other two being Puducherry and Chandigarh. Again, in this index, two of the top three districts in the country were Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram, said Mani.
He said financial inclusiveness was all about providing access to each of our citizens, at a reasonable cost, a full range of financial services, including savings or deposit services, payment and transfer services, credit and insurance.
He pointed out that nearly 13 lakh accounts had been opened after the launch of the PMJDY. Nearly 5 lakh ‘no frills accounts’ have also been opened. The state has been able to mobilize Rs 326 crore of deposits in these accounts. He said the government is bound to open a second account separately for the woman in each household. “We have to issue the RUPAY credit cards to all accounts. We have to complete AADHAR enrolment of all families,” he said. Excise Minister K Babu presided over the meeting. SLBC Chairman and Executive Director, Canara Bank, P S Rawat welcomed the gathering. Additional Chief Secretary and Mission Director K M Abraham presented the overview.
V Santhakumar, Deputy General Manager, RBI; Ramesh Tenkil, CGM, Nabard; and U Rameshkumar, convener, SLBC, also spoke.