Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to prepare a road-map for "financial inclusion" ahead of its centenary year in 2035.
"The RBI will be completing 100 years in 2035 and it will be appropriate for it to work on financial inclusion and prepare a roadmap to achieve it," Modi said, attending the 80th anniversary celebrations of the apex bank in Mumbai.
In addition to the RBI's centenary, he said other milestones to achieve financial inclusion could be the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019, the 75th year of Indian independence in 2022, and the RBI's 90th anniversary in 2025.
He said these were four important dates to create a roadmap for financial inclusion, which should not remain just a government programme, but become an 'article of faith.'
The prime minister also suggested that banks should be considerate in extending loans to the poor and while making recoveries, especially from the farming community.
Expressing concern at the plight of the poor and farmers' suicides, he said these should "shake up the conscience of the banking sector".
"Our poor farmers commit suicide... This pain should not only be restricted to the media. When a farmer dies, does it shake the heart of the banking sector? Only because he has taken loan from a moneylender, he has to face death," Modi said.