" The banks have also been instructed to allocate at least 25 percent of the total number of branches to be opened during a year to unbanked rural centres."
New Delhi, Aug 8 - The government will launch a Financial Inclusion Mission Aug 15, India's Independence Day, to extend banking services to all households in a time-bound manner, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said in written reply in Lok Sabha Friday.

As per Census 2011, only 58.7 percent of the country's households availing banking services.

Under the Swabhimaan campaign launched in February 2011, the banks were advised to provide appropriate banking facilities to habitations having a population above 2000 (as per Census 2001) by March 2012.

The banks identified nearly 74,000 habitations across the country with a population of over 2,000 for providing banking facilities.

As per reports received from banks, 74,351 villages with population of above 2,000 were covered with banking facilities either by branches or business correspondents or mobile banking by March 31, 2012.

In order to extend the banking network in unbanked areas, general permission has been granted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open branches in all cities with a population around 100,000.

The banks have also been instructed to allocate at least 25 percent of the total number of branches to be opened during a year to unbanked rural centres.

It was announced in the national Budget 2014-15 that a time-bound programme would be launched as Financial Inclusion Mission Aug 15 this year to provide all households in the country with banking services.


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