RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's strategy of widening and deepening the banking system through payment banks, India Post Bank, small finance banks and strengthening the NBFCs through appropriate regulation and facilitation deserves rich commendation for taking inclusive banking closer. But doubts still prevail over the effective reach of inclusive banking going by the laggard performance of the priority sector credit thus far.
"You have to dream before your dreams can come true." This famous quote of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who himself turned his dream into a reality as a nuclear scientist and has "ignited" many minds with his ideas, is perhaps the most appropriate theme for present day India aspiring to become an economic and knowledge superpower.It is the culmination of the dreams of 1.2 billion people that has led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ideate his plan of making the $2 trillion economy a $20 trillion behemoth within the next two decades, eradicating poverty and making India a knowledge society.
"No One Killed Agriculture" was the cover story of April-June 2012 edition of INCLUSION. It highlighted the plight of farmers and suggested detailed, practical and workable solutions, at the centre of which was availability of formal bank credit. In fact, INCLUSION has been pitching for enhanced formal bank credit to farm sector for more than a decade.
Welfare measures are not freebie. Hence, the policy culture must keep an effective balance between passion and compassion, to make the impact of underlying much more robust than in the sloganeering confine of 'greater common goods'.
No one doubts that central bankers are the most conservative lot. Reserve Bank of India under Raghuram Rajan has gone a step ahead in being so much extra-cautious that it keeps doubting everything under the sun to delay the much-needed rate cut.
While there has been little doubt that inflation-hawk Raghuram Rajan has been unmindful of the growth imperatives, the question now is whether the RBI ignores even the low inflation numbers.
After the latest data showed consumer price index-based retail inflation at 6-year low of 6.5 per cent for September, the wholesale price index-based headline inflation at 5-year low of 2.38 percent.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been hawkish on policy rates for the past four years to contain inflation. The central bank has maintained tight monetary policy despite reservations from the elected representatives and the government. What's worse, the hawkish stance had little perceptible impact on the price rise, as the inflation remained stubbornly high.
The Indian banking is undergoing through some unusual structural changes and naturally the news has been making round about one of those, which is 'differentiated banks'. As widely reported and circulated, the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan is a firm believer in the ideas behind it, and thus the central bank's guidelines come so hands-on this, it leaves no chance unturned to make the keen watcher believe, these new institutions will end all ill in existing system at place.