Skip to main content

Bihar, Odisha, UP score better than Gujarat in providing digital bank accounts to BPL, says Bill Gates' NGO

By Rajiv Shah
A high-profile study has found that Gujarat’s just about 13 per cent of people below the poverty line (BPL) have active digital bank accounts, which is the lowest in India. The study, carried out by the Washington-based InterMedia and sponsored by the world’s one of the most prestigious philanthropic organizations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of his ambitious Jan Dhan project, requiring bank accounts to about 10 crore poor of the country by January 26, 2015. The Government of India has claims, 1.5 crore accounts were “opened” in just a day.
Part of the InterMedia’s Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) programme, the study is based on a “qualitative survey” 45,024 Indian adults, ages 15 and older, conducted from October 15, 2013 to January 8, 2014, on access and use of financial services, as well as barriers and potential for future use. As against Gujarat’s 13 per cent BPL having digital accounts, the respective percentage for Tamil Nadu is 32, Himachal Pradesh 32, Maharashtra 28, Kerala 27, Karnataka 24, Andhra Pradesh 23, West Bengal 20, Haryana 20 and Punjab 15.
The survey terms bank accounts as “digital account” in order to identify whether the accounts are active for the digital transfer of money from government to bank account holders, which is what is needed for all cash transfers. The basic premise of Modi’s Jan Dhan programme is cash transfer of all subsidies given under different government schemes to the poorer target groups. This, it is expected, would bring about an end to corrupt practices in providing subsidies to the poor.
What is shocking is, the so-called Bimaru states perform than Gujarat – with Madhya Pradesh 19 per cent of the B PL having digital bank accounts, followed by 17 per cent in Jharkhand, Rajasthan 17 per cent, Chhattisgarh 17 per cent, Bihar 14 per cent, Assam 16 per cent, and Odisha 15 per cent. The study comes close on the heels of top Indian consultants, Crisil, coming up with similar results, rating Gujarat’s performance in financial inclusion worse than the national average on the basis of analysis of penetration of banking services (read HERE).
Worse, the study finds Gujarat has just 45 per cent of adults who “ever accessed a bank account”, which is lower than Kerala (66 per cent), Tamil Nadu (62 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (58 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (57 per cent), Maharashtra (56 per cent), Punjab (54 per cent), Uttarakhand (53 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (51 per cent), Karnataka (49 per cent), and Haryana (48 per cent). One of the major reasons, if the survey results are an indication, appears to be failure to usher in an era of financial inclusion in Gujarat’s rural areas.
Thus, as against 73 per cent of the urban adult population of Gujarat having active bank accounts, the corresponding percentage for the rural areas is just 39 per cent. The report states, “Active bank account use is higher than the national average in India’s megacities such as Mumbai in Maharashtra, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Bangalore in Karnataka, Kolkata in West Bengal, and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. As a result, active use varies greatly between urban and rural populations in these states. In Gujarat, for instance, urban bank account holders are almost twice as likely as their rural counterparts to use these accounts actively.”
The gap is not as high in other comparable states, the study suggests – in Maharashtra it is 72 per cent in urban areas but 56 per cent in rural areas. For Karnataka the corresponding figures are 72 per cent and 58 per cent, for West Bengal they are 69 per cent and 54 per cent, and for Andhra Pradesh they are 62 per cent and 54 per cent. In fact, the chart attached with the survey suggests that Gujarat’s 19 per cent rural males and 8 per cent rural females have “active digital accounts”, and only Bihar performing worse with 18 per cent rural males.

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”