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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched two innovative customer centric initiatives of RBI viz. Retail Direct Scheme and the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, here on November 12, 2021, via video conference. Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das were also present at the event.

Addressing the event, Modi praised the Finance Ministry and institutions like RBI for their efforts during the pandemic. “This period of Amrit Mahotsav, this decade of the 21st century, is very important for the development of the country. In such a situation, the role of RBI is also very big. I am confident that Team RBI will live up to the expectations of the country,” the Prime Minister said.

Referring to the two schemes launched today, Modi said that these schemes will expand the scope of investment in the country and make access to capital markets easier and more secure for investors. Retail direct scheme has given small investors in the country a simple and safe medium of investment in government securities. Similarly, One Nation, One Ombudsman System has taken shape in the banking sector with the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, he said.

The Prime Minister emphasised the citizen centric nature of these schemes saying one of the biggest touchstones of any democracy is the strength of its grievance redressal system. The Integrated Ombudsman Scheme will go a long way in that direction. Similarly, the Retail Direct Scheme  will give strength to the inclusion of everyone in the economy as it will bring in the middle class, employees, small businessmen, and senior citizens, with their small savings directly and securely in government securities. As Government securities have the provision of guaranteed settlement, this gives assurance of safety to the small investor, he said.

Modi said that in the last 7 years, NPAs were identified with transparency, the focus was on resolution and recovery, Public Sector Banks were recapitalised and one after the other reforms were carried out in the financial system and public sector banks and to further strengthen the banking sector, cooperative banks were also brought under the purview of RBI. Due to this the governance of these banks is also improving and the trust in this system is getting stronger among the depositors, he added, according to a PIB release.

The Prime Minister said in the past few years, in the country’s banking sector reforms ranging from inclusion in the financial sector to technological integration, have been carried out. “We have seen their strength in this difficult time of Covid. The decisions of the RBI also helped in increasing the impact of the big decisions that the government has taken in recent times,” he said.

Modi said till 6-7 years ago, banking, pension, and insurance, used to be like an exclusive club in India. All these facilities were not accessible to the common citizens in the country, poor families, farmers, small traders-businessmen, women, dalits-deprived-backward, etc. Criticizing the earlier system, he said those who had the responsibility of taking these facilities to the poor never paid any attention to it. Rather, various excuses were made for not changing.

The Prime Minister said UPI has made India the world’s leading country in terms of digital transactions in a very short span of time. In just 7 years, India has jumped 19 times in terms of digital transactions. Today our banking system is operational 24 hours, 7 days, and 12 months anytime, anywhere in the country, Modi stressed.