DeitY's target: 32,000 rural e-kiosks to act as bank agents

Common services centres may come handy in implementing Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which would cover 7.5 crore households, with at least one bank account

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Pratap Vikram Singh | August 28, 2014



The department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) has set a target of making 32,000 common services centres (CSCs) as business correspondents by March 2015.

CSC is a part of national e-governance plan intended to set up internet-enabled kiosks in villages to deliver services electronically to people. 

As of now, 15,000 centres are acting as business correspondents. Speaking on the sidelines of an annual conference on financial inclusion through CSCs, Dr Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC special purpose vehicle (SPV), a nodal body created by DeitY to oversee the rural kiosks project, said on an average 150 banking transactions take place in each of these CSCs.

CSC SPV has tied up with 27 public sector banks to make village level entrepreneurs, who would run the kiosks as banking correspondents. The agency is now collaborating with private sector banks. Banks including Axis, Federal and ICICI are already on board, he said.

These centres also sell insurance and pension products. The CSC network had got pension fund regulatory and development authority (PFRDA) accreditation in 2013.

The CSCs would soon start to enroll people for bank accounts using eKYC, which until was being used by the private sector banks.

Meghalaya, Sikkim and Maharashtra are better performing states in terms of banking transactions. In terms of overall performance, the performing states include Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, Tyagi said.

Prime minister Narendra Modi is expected to launch Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which is aimed at covering 7.5 crore households with at least one bank account, tomorrow. Financial literacy has been accorded priority under the PMJDY. A standardized financial literacy material has also been prepared in vernacular languages to create awareness about the Yojana. Tyagi said CSCs will are located in rural areas will come handy for the government to achieve this target.

The new government, under its Digital India programme, plans to add over one lakh centres, taking the number of centres to 2.5 lakh.

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