The InterMedia’s Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) research programme has revealed exciting statistics showing the involvement of Indian adults in finance. Between 2014 and 2015, the financial inclusion of an Indian adult increased by 20 percent.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, PMJDY, has acted as a facilitator of financial inclusion especially for families that come below the poverty line, in rural areas. The male and female inclusion rate varies by 10 percent, which is another break through. The increase in female inclusion has been 24 percent, while male is 14 percent.
In 2013, before PMJDY had started, 39 percent of the women surveyed had bank accounts, while the men were at 55 percent; The Wire mentions that this obvious gap led to women’s participation more then men, as there was more room for development for the former. There has also been concern about whether people have been using their bank accounts at all. Of the women interviewed for the survey, 57 percent are actually active bank account users under PMJDY. The overall growth in active women users is 35 percent as compared to the year 2013, when the the number was far lower, at 18 percent.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of India, that is actually the largest to lend money, will be offering loan facilities to about 7 lakh account holders who had opened their accounts under PMJDY. Measures like these could be extremely beneficial to those users who are inactive and also do not use the banking facilities often.
For the economy to work, money should flow. The lives of entire families can improve once they have access to adequate financial infrastructure. To further help financial participation, Payment Banks and Small Finance Banks will offer services that can bridge the gap between people and finance.
The inclusion of women has been a very positive step, especially given the many culturally imposed restriction. With the noted increase in their participation, though, perhaps it is safe to say that some of these barriers are being broken down.
Feature Image Courtesy: CGAP
News Source: The Wire