The claims made by State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) of having attained cent per cent financial inclusion (households possessing bank accounts) would seem distant from reality if we were to go by data provided by the 2011 Census. The data shows only 64 per cent financial inclusion in the Union Territory, 61.8 per cent in rural and 65 per cent in urban areas.
According to 2011 Census, of the 3,01,276 households in the UT, only 1,92,695 households possessed bank accounts, which included 58,803 households in rural and 1,33,892 in Urban areas. A fact worth noting was that even as the government planned to move ahead with its Direct Cash Transfer for 15 schemes in the Union territory from January 1 2013, around 1,08,581 households were without bank accounts.
However, over the past one decade, the UT has witnessed an improvement in the scene of financial inclusion from 31.7 per cent, 24.5 per cent in rural and 35.5 per cent in urban areas, to the present state owing to a National Pilot Project for Financial Inclusion launched by SLBC covering the entire UT of Puducherry in 2005. Though the lead Bank, Indian Bank, claimed to have achieved cent per cent financial inclusion, the Census showed that several households still needed to be included.
Moreover, computer penetration in Puducherry was 13.6 per cent, with 17.3 per cent in urban and 5.6 per cent in rural areas. However, Internet connection was accessible only to six per cent. Telephone and mobile connectivity had risen to 80.8 per cent with 85.3 per cent in urban and 71.3 per cent in rural areas. The mobile users were more in numbers with 62.7 per cent, including 61.6 per cent in rural and 63.2 per cent in urban areas.
Around 81 per cent of the population had television sets. Radios were possessed by 26.5 per cent. In terms of transport, 5.6 per cent had cars. Two wheelers were owned by 46.6 per cent, while 51.5 per cent had bicycles.