New Delhi– Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday cited the need for a greater focus on the penetration of sustainable credit, investment, insurance and pension products by addressing the demand side constraints with enhanced customer protection.

In his keynote address at the webinar on ‘Investing in Investor Education in India: Priorities for Action’ organised by NCAER, he said: “Financial inclusion in the country is poised to grow exponentially with digital savvy millennials joining the workforce, social media blurring the urban-rural divide and technology shaping the policy interventions.”

“Going forward, harnessing the near universal reach of bank accounts across the length and breadth of the country, there needs to be greater focus on the penetration of sustainable credit, investment, insurance and pension products by addressing demand side constraints with enhanced customer protection.”

According to the RBI Governor, the interventions in financial education would have to be customised (local language and local settings) keeping the different target audience in mind.

“The scaling up of CFL project across the country at the block level would be the cornerstone of community led participatory approaches in our journey towards greater financial literacy.”

In terms of the new technology, he said, though being a great enabler, it can also lead to the exclusion of certain segments of society.

“It is imperative to build trust in formal financial services among the hitherto excluded population. Adequate safeguards need to be reinforced to address issues of cyber-security, data confidentiality, mis-selling, customer protection and grievance redress through appropriate financial education and awareness.”

“These cast great responsibility on financial education providers.”

He added that among all the prerequisites for achieving demographic dividend and accelerated growth, quality of human resources, greater formalisation of economy, a higher credit to GDP ratio and greater financial inclusion are the differentiating factors that would elevate India’s economy to the desired level.

“To improve the credit to GDP ratio, access to credit and cost of credit need to be addressed by lesser reliance on collateral security and greater cash-flow based lending,”

“Credit bureaus and the proposed Public Credit Registry (PCR) framework are expected to improve the flow of credit as well as credit culture. As regards financial inclusion, a number of steps have been taken by the government and the RBI. As a result, large and hitherto excluded, sections of the population have been brought into the formal financial fold.” (IANS)