To achieve the objective of financial inclusion and facilitate electronic benefit transfer, the Finance Ministry has asked chiefs of public sector banks to monitor and ensure opening of one bank account per family, especially in rural areas.
In a recent letter to heads of all PSU banks and regional rural banks, the Department of Financial Services has asked CMDs of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) Convenor Bank to supervise and guide the process of opening of bank accounts in the respective states.
Beginning this month, it has also sought state-wise information on the number of households and the number of saving bank accounts. This information has to be sent by fifth of every month.
“Lead district managers and SLBC Convenor in the state would be responsible for monitoring and ensuring that every house hold has a bank account,” the letter says.
According to 2011 Census, about 58.7% households, comprising of 54.4% rural households and 67.8% urban households, had reported availing banking facilities. Out of the 24.69 crore households, 14.48 crore households reported availing banking services. Nearly 10 crore households were not availing banking services.
Under the Swabhimaan scheme, over 3.25 crore bank accounts in rural areas have been opened.
The government has set a target of covering 73,000 new habitations, with population of 2,000 and above under it. However, there are still a large number of households who do not avail banking services. It was in the context of financial inclusion of the excluded and to facilitate the electronic benefit transfer that banks were advised to ensure opening of one bank account per family.
The figure for number of households as per the latest census data may be used to compare the number of saving bank accounts. Since many households would have more than one saving bank account, number of saving bank accounts should be over 100% of the number of households, preferably 125-140%.
Service area bank in rural areas and banks assigned the responsibility in specific wards in urban area would be responsible for ensuring that every household has one bank account. This would be achieved in collaboration with other banks in the area. Latest voter list of the area concerned may be taken as a reference for verifying that every house hold has a bank account.