Home / News / India /  Reserve Bank launches index to capture financial inclusion

MUMBAI : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday introduced the financial inclusion index (FI-Index) to capture the extent of financial inclusion in the country. This was among the announcements made in the first bimonthly monetary policy in April this year.

The annual FI-Index for the period ending March 2021 is 53.9 as against 43.4 for the period ending March 2017.

The FI-Index has been conceptualized as a comprehensive index incorporating details of banking, investments, insurance, postal, and the pension sector in consultation with government and respective sectoral regulators, RBI said.

The index captures information on various aspects of financial inclusion in a single value ranging between 0 and 100, where 0 represents complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion.

The FI-Index comprises three broad parameters, including access, usage and quality with each of these consisting of various dimensions computed on the basis of on several indicators. The index is responsive to ease of access, availability and usage of services, and quality of services, comprising 97 indicators in all. A unique feature is the quality parameter, which captures the quality aspect of financial inclusion as reflected by financial literacy, consumer protection, and inequalities and deficiencies in services.

The FI-Index, which will be published in July every year, has been constructed without any ‘base year’ and as such it reflects cumulative efforts of all stakeholders over the years towards financial inclusion.

On 15 July 2021, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had outlined three challenges in improving the financial inclusion infrastructure in India.

These parameters are the identification of the customer, reaching the last mile, and providing relevant, affordable and safe products, Das had said at the Economic Times Financial Inclusion Summit 2021.

The opening of the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana accounts has given millions of Indians access to financial products, the steps taken on the demand side are aimed at increasing public awareness, he said.


Gopika Gopakumar
Gopika Gopakumar has worked for over 15 years as a banking journalist across print and television media. Her expertise lies in breaking big corporate stories and producing news based TV shows. She was part of the 2013 IMF Journalism Fellowship Program where she covered the Annual & Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. She started her career with CNBC-TV18, where she also produced a news feature show called Indianomics and an award winning show on business stories from South India called Up South. She joined Mint in 2016.
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