'Urban inclusion deprives 60 mn farmers'

Two-day national conference on Financial inclusion and challenges begins

Focus on urban inclusion rather than rural has deprived 60 million small and marginal farmers, said director of Institute for social and economic change, Bangalore, Prof R S Deshpande. The marginalised have no bankable proposal, he added.

He was speaking at a two-day conference on ‘Financial Inclusion in India: Issues and challenges’ organised by Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP)
here on Tuesday.

Describing the issues affecting financial inclusion, he said the social structure has limited the reach of the banking. “We have not thought of innovative instruments... We have not thought beyond credit,” he said indicating that instruments used for implementing financial inclusion were not entirely successful. Also, he mentioned that over a period of time, any tool used to implement a programme gets rusted. Citing the example of government programmes, he said several project lose their importance as touts find a way to ‘skim the butter out of schemes.’

Mentioning the challenges, he said social and economic porosity were key to financial inclusion. He said that only a section of the society are benefitting due to financial inclusion.

Earlier, CSSEIP director Prof Ramesh said that 34 per cent of population in the country were yet to avail banking services. He said the country is still quite distant in terms of financial inclusion for all.

Prof Ramesh observed that loans should be available to all and not just part of the society.
State Bank of Mysore chief manager M B Chinnappa was present.

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