DoNER ministry actively working towards boosting financial literacy in the North East: Debajit, IES

Imphal: Devajit Khound, IES, senior economic adviser, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, urged industry leaders to invest in the North-East region at the CII North East Banking and FinTech Conclave 2023 organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Tuesday at New Delhi.

Highlighting the positive developments in the North East Region, including increasing number of bank accounts, growing Aadhar penetration, improving mobile connectivity and rising digital payments in the region, Devajit Khound asserted that there is no reason for North-East to remain financially excluded. He added that the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region is actively working towards boosting financial literacy in the North East. The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi) is expanding financial services into the unreached areas of the North East through the Business Correspondence Model.

Addressing the conclave, Mr. C S Ghosh, Past Chairman of CII Eastern Region and managing director and CEO of Bandhan Bank said, “To scale financial inclusion, accessible, secure, and responsible digital public infrastructure is very important. Government digital initiatives such as Aadhaar, UPI and DigiLocker have helped in effectively reaching people for financial inclusion.”

Ghosh acknowledged the positive impact of government initiatives like Jan Dhan Yojana, PM Mudra Yojana and PM Suraksha Bima Yojana in augmenting financial inclusion in the North East region. In discussing opportunities for the North East, he emphasized the role of tourism development, the need to focus on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the development of the logistics supply chain and the importance of financial literacy and digital literacy for the overall development of North East Region. He suggested the Trickle Up approach for North East by financially including women and people in rural areas which would also have a great impact on creating jobs.

“The key obstacles to Fintech expansion in the North East are lack of identity promotion, poor telecom connectivity, and a general lack of awareness,” remarked Padmanabhan Raja Jaishankar,  managing director of IIFCL, during the conclave.

Despite these challenges, he expressed optimism that these obstacles can be turned into opportunities. He emphasized the need to address the connectivity issue as a key factor in accelerating FinTech growth in the North East region. CII North East Banking and FinTech Conclave 2023 was organized with a specific focus on enhancing the digital payment framework to foster financial inclusivity in the North East.

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