India Budget to Push Harder for Financial Inclusion

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Indian government’s push for financial access for hundreds of millions of the unbanked is helping secure its vote base and creating lucrative opportunities for financial institutions, technology and mobile services firms.

In his budget speech on Friday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may announce funds for a common technology platform to reach the goal of a banking outlet in every village of more than 2,000 people by March, 2011, senior government officials say.

The government may also say it will channel more welfare payments through banks, including the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), the flagship scheme which analysts say was key to the Congress-led government’s re-election last year.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)