Friday, April 30, 2010
Srei Sahaj and State Bank of India Financial Inclusion
Srei Sahaj is committed to the task of eliminating the rural-urban divide and to make it happen, it has joined hands with State Bank of India to assist in financial inclusion by helping the rural population to enter the formal financial system by extending to them SBI banking services. Sahaj will offer its technology platform and its network of CSCs to the State Bank of India for Banking Correspondent SRDF. Sahaj will also provide other services like Insurance, Mutual Funds and other financial products including mobilization of deposits/micro deposits outreach directly through its channel within the laid down guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India, IRDA, SEBI and other regulatory body or authority.
SRDF is a Banking Correspondent of SBI under the Banking Correspondent model (as per RBI/2005-06/288 DBOD.No.BL.BC. 58/22.01.001/2005-2006. The RBI Circular can be viewed at the link http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Notification/PDFs/68417.pdf).
An overwhelming 61% of the rural Indian population is unbanked. The proportion of unbanked population is higher in the poorer regions of the country, and is the worst in the North-Eastern and Eastern regions. Access to affordable financial services - especially credit and insurance - enlarges livelihood opportunities and empowers the poor to take charge of their lives. Financial Inclusion is both a crucial link and a substantial first step towards achieving inclusive growth. The liberalized, increasingly global, market driven economy of India today, has failed to facilitate inclusive growth. In recognition of this, the government and the Reserve Bank of India, have initiated steps to create enabling conditions for inclusive growth.
Welcoming the partnership between Sahaj and SBI, Dr Sabahat Azim, Chief Executive, Srei-Sahaj e-Village said, "We are much more than a business. Our mission is to bring to rural India, what Urban India takes for granted. Sahaj"s mission is to help transform rural India. This partnership with SBI will hopefully bring succor to millions who cannot access credit and who have never been able to make it to the system. A poor farmer with a bank account and credit history can access much needed capital and receive disbursements from the Government directly, without intermediaries. This partnership has the potential to give economic freedom to the common man of the village. The immense support of the Government will make this entire process very viable."
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