CEO of NITI Aayog emphasizes the importance of a more gender-inclusive financial system.

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New Delhi: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant stated today that bringing a significant number of women into the financial industry requires a more gender-inclusive financial system that can solve the demand and supply-side challenges they confront. He said that a multi-stakeholder and partnership-driven strategy can help close the gender gap in digital financial inclusion.

“More gender-inclusive financial inclusion necessitates a more gender-inclusive financial system that tackles the unique demand and supply-side constraints that women experience,” Kant added.

He was speaking at a virtual event to promote a study called “The Power of Jan Dhan: Making Finance Work for Women in India.”
Women’s World Banking, a global non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-income women with financial skills, and Bank of Baroda jointly released the study (BoB).

Digital channels and innovative product designs, according to Kant, have the potential to provide women with new and improved value propositions.

“By improving and expanding the accessibility of such solutions, women will be able to access more convenient financial services,” he added.
Kant went on to say that via innovation and the strengthening of models like women correspondents, public sector banks have the chance to attract more female consumers to the banking and financial services industry.

“I’d want to urge banks to take the initiative and match their goods and services with the requirements of women in order to create a win-win situation.”

“The objective should be to guarantee that women and women-led businesses have access to and can use a variety of financial service instruments to build financial autonomy, contribute to economic growth, and take advantage of the possibilities that the future of work will bring,” he stated.

He claimed that the JAM trinity – Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and mobile – had connected more than 400 million Indians who were previously unbanked or underserved to the formal financial services ecosystem.

As of February 26, 2021, about Rs 6.36 lakh crore has been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY).

“These programmes have enabled women to live better lives and pursue their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs,” he continued.

He added that as part of the COVID-19 relief transfer, around Rs 30,700 crore was deposited into the accounts of women Jan Dhan account holders in three months last year.

“I think that financially enabling a woman is to financially empower the entire family, which would improve the potential to fully engage in quantifiable and productive economic activity,” he said, adding that banks should recognize this client pool as an opportunity.

According to research by Women’s World Banking and Bank of Baroda, public sector banks in India can attract about Rs 25,000 crore in deposits while financially empowering 40 crores low-income Indians by servicing 100 million low-income women.

It emphasizes the importance of savings as a strong instrument for assisting low-income women and their families in achieving financial stability. Women’s World Banking and BoB created a prototype programme to encourage women Jan Dhan users to use their accounts more.