The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said it has formed a new committee to set a framework for financial inclusion in the country. The committee is chaired by former banker Nachiket Mor, who is associated with IFMR Trust and Sughavazhvu Healthcare besides being part of the 19-member central board of the Indian central bank.
The 13-member committee has some big names, including former Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit and Zia Mody, chief of corporate law firm AZB & Partners. Other bankers in the committee include Sunil Kaushal, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank India; SS Mundra, chairman and managing director, Bank of Baroda and Shikha Sharma, managing director and CEO, Axis Bank.
The committee also has Bindu Ananth, president, IFMR Trust; Prakash Bakshi, chairman, NABARD; Bharat Doshi, chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services; AP Hota, managing director and CEO, National Payments Corporation of India; Roopa Kudva, managing director and CEO, CRISIL Ltd; Ramesh Ramanathan, chairman, Janalakshmi Financial Services and RBI’s principal chief general manager A Udgata.
Interestingly, some of the committee members are also associated with groups looking to get a new banking licence.
Pandit, who had steered Citigroup during the financial crisis of 2008-09 and moved out of the bank last year, has a pact with JM Financial for the group’s entry into the Indian banking sector.
Ramesh Ramanathan is the promoter of microfinance institution Janalakshmi Financial Services, which is one of the 27 companies that have applied for a banking licence.
Christened as the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households, it would frame a detailed vision for financial inclusion and financial deepening in India. It would also lay down a set of design principles that will guide the development of institutional frameworks and regulation for achieving financial inclusion and financial deepening.
It would also review existing strategies and develop new ones that address specific barriers to progress and that encourage participants to work swiftly towards achieving full inclusion and financial deepening, consistent with the design principles.
The committee will also develop a monitoring framework to track the progress of the financial inclusion and deepening efforts on a nationwide basis.
It would submit its final report by December 31, 2013.
S Karuppasamy and Deepali Pant Joshi, both executive directors, Reserve Bank of India, will be the expert observers. The committee gets its secretarial support by RBI’s Rural Planning and Credit Department.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)