Have bank accounts for all by Jan 2016

Tags: News
Recommending sweeping changes in the banking structure, an RBI panel today suggested setting up of specialised banks to cater to low income households to ensure that all citizens have bank accounts by 2016.

It also suggested that facility for withdrawal, payment and deposit should be set up within a 15-minutes walking distance anywhere in the country.

"By January 1, 2016 each resident, above the age of 18, would have an individual, full-service, safe, and secure electronic bank account," Mor said in a report by the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households.

The panel, headed ex-ICICI Bank executive director Nachiket Mor, was set up by Raghuram Rajan on the day of taking over as the RBI Governor, to suggest steps for promoting financial inclusion.

The panel advocated setting up of 'Payments Banks' to "provide payment services and deposit products to small businesses and low-income households" with a maximum balance of Rs 50,000 per customer.

These banks can be set up with minimum capital requirement of Rs 50 crore, one-tenth of the Rs 500 crore required for full-service bank.

Permission to banks for pricing farm loans below base rate should be withdrawn, the Mor report said.

It also suggested that Aadhaar card should be used automatically opening a bank account.

RBI is currently sifting through the application of 25 companies to get into the banking fray for which one of the key eligibility criteria is their vision for financial inclusion.

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