RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's strategy of widening and deepening the banking system through payment banks, India Post Bank, small finance banks and strengthening the NBFCs through appropriate regulation and facilitation deserves rich commendation for taking inclusive banking closer. But doubts still prevail over the effective reach of inclusive banking going by the laggard performance of the priority sector credit thus far.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked, in January this year, the question, "India is a $2 trillion economy today. Can we not dream of an India with a $20 trillion economy?", he was echoing a powerful, nuanced and intensely compelling set of questions. Some among them-ranging from ease-of-doing business, innovation, digital economy, manufacturing, entrepreneurship to skilled workforce-are all too familiar.
As we embarked on a period of planning after independence, import substitution constituted a major component of India's trade and industrial policies. Planners, more or less, chose to ignore the option of foreign trade as a stimulant of economic growth. This was primarily due to the highly pessimistic view taken on the potential of export earnings.
"No One Killed Agriculture" was the cover story of April-June 2012 edition of INCLUSION. It highlighted the plight of farmers and suggested detailed, practical and workable solutions, at the centre of which was availability of formal bank credit. In fact, INCLUSION has been pitching for enhanced formal bank credit to farm sector for more than a decade.
The move to establish BRICS bank is meant to provide patient money and risk capital to long term projects and not aimed at challenging the existing multilateral financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said in a speech at an event organised in Chicago on Friday by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
In December 1967, the then Finance Minister Morarji Desai introduced a new term for bankers, the "Priority Sector" and this term has come to stay in the Indian banking terminology since then.