Mumbai: Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the government aimed to achieve financial inclusion in the next five years and exhorted banks to scale up their rural footprint.
“We can make financial inclusion a reality in the next five years. We have many good banks, but they can become best banks only if they take banking to the far corners of the country,” the Finance Minister said at a function.
Chidambaram said that the country’s banking industry was now on a higher growth trajectory with significantly improved business.
“In the last four years, priority sector advances from state-owned banks have almost doubled, while agriculture advances have tripled,” Chidambaram said.
Besides, a steep decline in the gross and net NPAs of domestic lenders in the last four years is also a healthy sign of growth, he said.
Chidambaram also called for improved communication between bank managements and their employee unions in order to improve the functioning of the system.
“What is missing is an effective communication between bank managements and unions.(Though) at the branch level there is a fair level of communication, this is very less between managements and unions,” Chidambaram said.
The comments come at a time when bank employees are up in arms on issues such as demanding one more pension option for employees and termination of merger proposals amongst state-owned banks.