Designing a Methodology to Investigate Accessibility and Impact of Financial Inclusion
14 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 18, 2012
A well developed financial system brings poor people into the mainstream of the economy and allows them to contribute more actively to economic development both individually and collectively. This is the essence of “financial inclusion”, a new paradigm in the economics of growth and development. Financial inclusion as a corollary of social intermediation has both regional (global and local) and human perspectives. Therefore, it has emerged as a significant strategy of “growth with equity” in the emerging economies like India. The Reserve Bank of India promulgated a drive for financial inclusion, wherein banks take the lead in providing all unbanked households in a district, with savings accounts and gradually they access other financial services and products through this channel thereby enabling them to reduce poverty and inequality. Having the proof of the data that is conditioned about the levels and trends of financial inclusion and its impact on the socio-economic status of rural and urban households is a critical step towards this aspect. ‘Accessibility’ to financial resources is found to be the key parameter in this regard. The purpose of this paper therefore, is to evolve a research methodology to measure the impact of access to financial services by the poor and marginalized sections of the society. Authors analyze the supply and demand intricacies of financial resources (such as the functional complexities of the formal, informal and semiformal agencies) and the impact of accessibility to financial services on the socio-economic life of the rural households’ vis-à-vis the urban households in India. While doing these authors examine the evolving and multidimensional concept of financial inclusion, giving an account of the social banking background, the initiatives of financial inclusion in India, the experiences gained, and the challenges ahead. Research findings point out that in the context of inclusive growth in general and financial inclusion in particular, a quantifiable and pragmatic approach calls for a well designed and executed research methodology. Authors suggest an amalgamation of technological approach and human approach for strengthening the enabling and evaluating mechanisms of financial inclusion.
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