IFMR Finance Foundation’s “Complete Financial Inclusion and Financial Deepening” site has been created with a view to track national progress on these fronts over time. As we have been given the opportunity to serve as Technical Secretariat to the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households, we will use this site to support the committee’s efforts in soliciting a wide range of public opinion on critical issues confronting the committee. Over the course of the next three months, we will post questions on specific themes in the site for public feedback, which we will consolidate and present to the committee for deliberation. To start off, we have a set of questions on the theme of “Local Financial Institutions”.
There is a growing interest in the need for locally focused financial institutions that reach out to every last household and enterprise in a geography. Local Financial Institutions could be seen as a critical component for effective last mile delivery of financial services and if this is the strategy adopted for financial inclusion then the nation will need tens of thousands of such institutions to ensure complete coverage. Advances in technology and the availability of trainable local human resources have also helped ensure that such institutions can be viable today from a cost perspective. However, from a design perspective, an approach predicated on Local Financial Institutions as the front-end for financial inclusion raises some critical questions on the design of such institutions and their linkages to other parts of the financial system.
To view the questions and share your thoughts on this theme please click here.
Each week, we will have a different set of questions on a new theme. We hope you will find this forum useful to disseminate your views on issues that interest and concern you. We look forward to hearing from you.