Amid slow progress in bringing the entire population under banking network, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday announced setting up of a high level committee to 'spearhead' efforts to ensure accessible financial services in the country.
The Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee under RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty is expected to suggest appropriate regulatory framework to ensure that financial inclusion and financial stability move in tandem, the RBI said in a statement.
Stating there has been significant, 'albeit slow', progress towards greater financial Inclusion, the RBI said ensuring accessible and affordable financial services in all the six lakh villages is a 'herculean task' and given the enormity of the task, 'a lot of ground still needs to be covered'.
"This calls for a partnership of all the stakeholders," it said.
The stakeholders include, RBI, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory development Authority, Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority, National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development, governments, civil society and NGOs, among others, the central bank said.
As per 2011 census, about 58.7 per cent households had reported availing of banking facilities.
Out of the 24.69 crore (246.9 million) households, 14.48 crore (144.8 million) reported availing banking services.
Nearly 10 crore households were not availing the services.
The 11-member panel is expected to explore issues such as developing viable and sustainable banking services delivery models and developing products and processes for rural as well as urban consumers outside the banking network, the RBI said.
The regulators and the central government are already part of the Technical Group on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy and Sub-committee of Financial Stability and Development Council.
The apex bank said a need was felt to engage the members from the civil society, non-governmental Organisations and others for a sound and purposeful collaboration.
The committee, if necessary, would call other market players like technology vendors and corporate business correspondents as special invitees to the meetings.
"Since the financial inclusion model selected in India is primarily bank-led, the Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee may also invite the chairperson/managing directors of banks to each of its meetings to gather the perspective of the banks," it added.
The members include Y H Malegam, Dipankar Gupta, Ela Ramesh Bhatt and D K Mittal (Banking Secretary) besides members of the Central Board of Directors of RBI.
Nachiket Mor, M S Sriram, R S Sharma, B Sambamurthy, Rama Vedashree, P D K Rao and K R Kamath, are the other members.