K C Chakrabarty: Inclusion Champion of the Year

CMD, Punjab National Bank

Given on this 23rd day of January 2009 at New Delhi, by the hands of Mr Wajahat Habibullah, Hon’ble Chief Information Commissioner of India

Punjab National Bank, under the leadership of K C Chakrabarty, has demonstrated how the rural poor, a hitherto excluded class, can be pulled into the mainstream by a little innovation. Tineri village in Bihar has discovered how the new branchless banking facility can liberate them from the clutches of local moneylenders while inculcating a banking habit. The local Panchayat has been successfully roped in to play the role of facilitating financial literacy. Each family in the village is provided with a biometric card, a thermal filter and a Near Field Communication mobile handset at a total cost of 110 rupees – half of which is expected to come from the state government as subsidy. In return, each customer is allowed to open a savings bank account with zero balance. The Tineri initiative is hailed as a ‘’holistic approach’’ towards providing basic banking facilities to the poorest of the poor leading to enhanced financial inclusion. Tineri is just one of the soon-to-be launched 27 pilot projects across 13 states in the Indo-Gangetic basin. Team Skoch visited Tineri recently to have a first hand experience.

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