Poor states high on financial inclusion: Study

poor_5Financial inclusion in India’s four poor states — Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — has improved significantly with better access to formal banking outlets, says a recent survey.

The average time taken to access formal financial services like a bank branch, an ATM or a post office is not more than half an hour in these four states, according to the ‘FinScope Consumer Survey India’, conducted by FinMark Trust of South Africa.

It covered 16,000 households. One adult from each household was interviewed.

The study assumes significance as it highlights the efficacy of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, a national mission on financial inclusion, which was firmly in place when the survey was conducted.

The researchers found the level of connectivity is also high in these states, reflected by the number of adults using mobile phones. Finally, documentation, a key to access formal financial services, is not an issue anymore as 98 per cent of the adults have some kind of identity proof.

The study was part of the Poorest State Inclusive Growth, or PSGI programme, taken up by the Small Industries Development Bank of India in association with Britain’s department for international development.



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