In a bid to further financial inclusion and enhance the banking experience for citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated 75 Digital Banking Units (DBU) across 75 districts to the nation. The Prime Minister informed that through this, the government aims to provide maximum services with minimum infrastructure, digitally without involving any paperwork. It will simplify the banking procedure, while providing a robust and secure banking system.
“This will benefit people living in small towns and villages with banking transactions such as transferring money or availing loans. DBUs are another big step in the direction to make the life of a common man of India easier,” he said. According to the PM, the government has given top priority to ensure that banking services reach the last mile and more than 99 per cent of villages in India have a bank branch, banking outlet or a ‘banking mitra’ within a 5 km radius. “Today the number of branches per one lakh adult citizens in India is more than countries like Germany, China and South Africa,” he added.
As part of the Union budget speech for 2022-23, the Finance Minister announced setting up the 75 DBUs in 75 districts to commemorate 75 years of independence. The DBUs are being set up to ensure the benefits of digital banking reach every corner of the country and cover all the States and Union territories. 11 Public Sector Banks, 12 Private Sector Banks and one Small Finance Bank are participating in the endeavour.
DBUs will be brick-and-mortar outlets which will provide a variety of digital banking facilities to people such as opening savings accounts, balance-check, print passbooks, transfer of funds, investment in fixed deposits, loan applications, stop-payment instructions for cheques issued, applying for credit/debit cards, view statement of account, pay taxes, pay bills, make nominations, etc.
The Prime Minister informed that fintech is at the heart of India’s policies and efforts, and it is playing a key role in shaping the future. Digital banking units will further expand this capability of fintech. “If Jan Dhan accounts had laid the foundation of financial inclusion in the country, then Fintech would form the basis of a financial revolution,” he said.
Referring to the government’s announcement of the launch of a digital currency based on blockchain technology, the Prime Minister pointed out that listed savings, elimination of the hassle of physical currency and environmental benefits as key advantages. The Prime Minister pointed out that paper and ink for currency printing are imported, and by adopting a digital economy we are contributing to a self-reliant India while also benefiting the environment by reducing the consumption of paper.
“Today our small industries, MSMEs, are also participating in government tenders through a system like GEM. They are getting new business opportunities. So far, orders worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore have been placed on GEM. Many more new opportunities will now arise in this direction through digital banking units,” he added. The Prime Minister urged small business owners from villages to completely move towards digital transactions and also requested banks to connect 100 merchants with them for going digital for the benefit of the country.