By K. Ashwin Mob: 00919920183006 E-mail: email@example.com
According to a report published on May 30, 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says the Indian economy has probably recently surpassed Japan to be the third largest economy globally with China touted to overtake the US as the largest economy in the world in a few years. Even as it stakes a claim on the global front with Indians ruling the roost in the board rooms of global multinationals, India, ironically, has a sizable number of its population, who do not even have a bank account. According to a recent study by New America Foundation and MicroSave, in the early 2000s, India launched a massive drive to bring most of its population under the formal banking system. However, 90% of the 100 million accounts opened under the plan are unused and close to half of India’s 1.2 billion-strong population still do not have bank accounts.
Financial inclusion is a critical issue in India because the fruits of two decades of rapid economic growth have gone disproportionately to well-off Indians. The task for the Banking and Finance sector seems to be cut out and holds a promise in the midst of this challenge, which could result in an astronomical growth in the number of bank account holders and open access to a large pool of savings which could be invested profitably. However the moot question is – A Bank Account for all – Is this Dream Realisable?
This issue is one of the four topics on the agenda at the 7th Annual International Conference on Banking & Finance organized by Indian Merchants’ Chambers at Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai on June 05, 2013. Dr. D. Subbarao, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and Mr. Rajiv Takru, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India will be the Chief Guests. Mr. Rajkumar Dhoot, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Mr. Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman, State Bank of India will be the Guests of Honour.
A Bank Account for all – Is this dream Realisable? will have eminent speakers like Mr. M V Tanksale, Chairman & Mg. Director, Central Bank of India, Mr. A. Krishna Kumar, Managing Director & Group Executive (National Banking) and Whole-Time Director, State Bank of India, Mr. D. Sarkar, Chairman & Managing Director, Union Bank of India.
Highlighting about the conference, Mr. Niranjan Hiranandani, President, IMC said, “The need to bring the Indian economy back to its original growth trajectory has never been stronger, and it is obvious that the financial sector will play a key role in it. In this context, the theme of this Conference ‘Road to Recovery and Growth – Role of Banks and Financial Sector’ assumes paramount importance.”
“Our theme of the year is “Inclusive Growth”. We have no doubt that growth can be sustainable only when it is inclusive, and that financial sector reforms will have an important role to play in ensuring that it becomes a reality. Mega events such as this one give concrete shape and direction to our thoughts and beliefs and help illuminate the road ahead. I am certain that all the eminent participants at this Conference will provide us quality insights into how the financial sector could become an engine of our economic recovery and growth process.” he added.
Mr. Chandan Bhattacharya, Chairman, Finance & Banking committee, IMC & former MD, State Bank of India, said, “In any economy, the role of banks is pivotal to fueling and sustaining economic growth with due diligence and oversight of central monetary and regulatory agencies. This is particularly true in today’s world where growth is linked to global economic indicators. This Conference will focus on practical ways and means of promoting financial inclusion, a sine qua non for all round growth.”
The other key topics, Financial Sector Reforms – an Unfinished Agenda, Balance Sheet Re-Structuring for Corporate Recovery (ICAI Session) and Innovative Tools for Long-Term Infrastructure Funding will be addressed by an eminent panel of speakers viz. Mr. K R Kamath, Chairman & Managing Director, Punjab National Bank, Mr. R K Dubey, Chairman & Managing Director, Canara Bank, Mr. T C A Ranganathan, Chairman & Managing Director, Export-Import Bank of India, Prof. (Mrs.) Ashima Goyal, Public Interest Director, MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) and Prof. Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mrs. Arundhati Bhattacharya, MD and CEO, SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBICAP), Mr. M.G. Sanghvi, Chairman & Managing Director, Syndicate Bank, CA Subodh Kumar Agrawal, President, ICAI.