In 2015-16 Union Budget, the government enhanced credit target for farm sector by Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 8.5 lakh crore. This was in line with a common perception that farm credit translates into the growth of the national economy. Statistically this might be unfounded, however it is undeniable that the farm sector that constitutes the core of the economy needs to be in focus of banks and other financial institutions.
The Indian economy is largely dependent on cash. Only 5 per cent of the country's personal consumption expenditure is done electronically. A sharp acceleration of economic growth is not possible with such kind of dependence on cash. Overdependence on cash is a major hurdle and a radical thinking and coordinated efforts are needed to take electronic payments system to the masses.
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.
The Indian economy is predominantly cash-driven with only 5 per cent of the country's Personal Consumption Expenditure done electronically. This shows that there is a huge unexplored market for payment companies. It will require all players across the payments value chain to create much greater innovation in payment services.
When the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deregulated savings bank deposit interest rates in October 2011, it was hailed as a big reformist step that would ensure better returns to depositors. Almost four years have passed and there is hardly any change in the interest rates on such deposits.
The relaunch of Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) should not be looked as a mere addition of an investment option and a conscious bid to lift the savings rate of the country, but as a decisive pro-poor policy of the Modi government.