The info about the financial inclusion has been abuzz from a long time. In short trying to answer as to what the financial inclusion means, it is as simple as extending the banking services to one and all in the country irrespective of the financial status they are in. This is a very interesting a promising idea considering how many govt programmes can be routed directly to the people, how the subsidies could be provided, how the benefits could be made sure to reach the intended person, remove the troubles of middle men and much more.
Recently flooding ideas also said it is a sensible idea to come in with the direct cash transfer to the subsidies and all the while it was a question as to how to do it and as expected financial inclusion is the answer. Now that we know how useful the financial inclusion is, the next question is how we go about realizing it. The govt would naturally decide to make it compulsory to the banks to have the no frills accounts – zero balance accounts to make sure that the banking facilities are extended to a wide range of people than the earlier privileged few!
The move by SBI is quite commendable in this direction. If you have had an experience of opening an account with SBI, they are a little strict on the details, obviously giving importance to the KYC- Know Your Customer directive and also it being a govt nationalised bank, it is bound to follow some principles which are pro people than the good old idea of capitalism- pro profit! Today’s announcement by SBI is a commendable one in this direction. “SBI waives off the minimum balance for the savings accounts” says the heading in an article in The Hindu. Earlier there was a fine for the maintenance of a savings account balance of less than thousand and there was some money being cut from the balance if the average for a quarter was less than that. Now thanks to the new announcements, this bit is going to hold off for a while. As per the new announcements, we can maintain a balance as low as Rs.50/- which is what I call an extended service. I agree that no frills accounts is the way to go but this has an upper limit on the money transactions and the money cannot cross the max limit to qualify as a no frills account.
But the current announcement makes it easier and flexible for people from all backgrounds to get in to the account front. So is the no frills account a possibility? SBI announces that it is very much in tune with the philosophy and this very action in this direction definitely wins my praise and it sure is a way to take a stand in the progressive development.