4 min read.Updated: 30 Sep 2021, 01:34 AM ISTSumita Kale,Laveesh Bhandari
RBI’s index puts too little in the public domain for its readings to serve the purpose of closing gaps
On 17 August, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unveiled its newly conceptualized Financial Inclusion Index. The intent was to “capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country". But just two numbers were announced: the index stood at 53.9 for the period ending March 2021, as against 43.4 for the period ending March 2017. The press release had scant information on the index; 97 indicators were used to make this index across three broad parameters: Access (35%), Usage (45%) and Quality (20%), with their respective weightage in the index mentioned in brackets. There is no base year. But 0 measures complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion. At a conceptual level, this index aims to capture much more than the single table measuring the country’s progress on financial inclusion in RBI’s Annual Report.
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