The moment I think about the Indian banking system, the first thing that strikes to my mind is the changes made by the RBI/Government of India during the recent times. The biggest one of them all being the ban on old 500 and 1000 Rupee notes. This is something that shook the entire nation on the whole. In addition, it also brought India into the limelight among the global economy. There were mixed reactions from people all over the country. Majority of them anticipated that it would put an end to black money and money laundering activities gradually but surely. The end to such activities still seems like far from coming through. Having said so, it has generated a sense of fear amongst the individuals. No government in the history has been able to do so except for the current leadership in India. The question is: how do we make our country free of black money and corruption? For me, an obvious answer will be something like this: each individual should possess a sense of self-responsibility towards making our county a better place to live.
Impact on poor and middle class
Source: Deutsche Welle
The count of citizens who never had a bank account until say about last four years or so have opened an account for themselves thanks to the initiatives taken by our Prime Minister. At least three fourth portion of our population has benefited from it. This was a step taken keeping digital India in mind. It might all seem like a heroic act, it sure was, no denying this fact. Let us look at the other side of the coin now since everything in this world has its pros and cons. When the new denominations were introduced, RBI could not meet the demand/supply ratio. Whom did it impact the most? Certainly the middle class and the poor. Do you think government or RBI went to every sufferer and pacify them in any way? People lost their loved ones and a stage came where they were literally begging for every penny of their own. We understand everything comes at a price, but I certainly never thought it should have at the cost of innocent people’s lives. When you look at these aspects of it, all the changes to the system seem nothing less than a criminal act.
Situation in villages
Source: Hindustan Times
Make a comparison between all the metropolitan cities and small villages. The percentage of educated individuals is considerably higher as compared to what it is in the countryside. The amount of resources possessed by citizens residing in the villages is very limited. Let me cite an example for you here. In most of the cities, ATMs must be just a furlong away. If you do not find cash in one, you will find it in the next. Even it was to be far away, we have means to commute. On the contrary, you will barely find an ATM or two in the smaller villages. If one goes cashless and finds none in the banks or ATM machines, the only way out for them is to walk miles since they do not possess the luxuries that we do. Isn’t that a pity that our fellow citizens are suffering this badly? Can the politicians who usually make sweet promises during the times of elections come to their rescue? I am not trying to blame the entire system on the whole here. But, they need to concentrate on the micro aspects of it first to benefit the population. True that the country is the sixth largest economy in the world now. We need to be proud of that achievement. If growth comes at the cost of the helpless ones like these in the country, we have a lot to think about. India will grow at a faster pace if these issues are actioned upon.
Private banks coming to the rescue
Government banks are often criticized to be lethargic when it comes to offering customer service. I am not talking about all of them, but most. One can always give it a try. Firstly, a broader chunk of the population working there is earning handsome incomes inching closer to retirement. Good 50 percent of them would care a shit when you go to their counter seeking for help. What they would ensure is that you get a tour of the entire facility and the get introduced to all the staff members before you eventually got your job done. Take a personal survey in your families, and you will come to know about the ground realities if you have not experienced it first-hand. They simply do not understand that the business that they get is because of the customers. The feeling is like pleading for your own money. This is lead to the downfall of the government lending institutions and instead pave a way for the financial institution who thrive on offering impressive customer service. In the coming decades, I can easily forecast that the government banks’ stake in the county will go down to as low as 30 percent. Who is at loss? The Government banks obviously. Everything in life has to be complementary.
Where is it that the private banking or lending institutions are leaving national finance bodies behind? The areas targeted are where the bigger banks do not have their presence. Even if they do, it is very limited. These are the areas where the microfinance of small finance banks or institutions are increasing their footprint and expanding at great pace considering their demand and their abilities to serve the needs of individuals. They basically lend money to the needy ones at lower interest rates, be it the farmers or the small-scale business setups. It is a win-win situation for these companies. Back in the 1950s until about high 1990s, India’s GBP was highly dependent on agriculture. If history repeats itself, imagine the benefit to the nation on the whole. I also see this factor as India being self-sufficient in the foreseeable future or even reducing high dependency on other countries. It is all about working on our strengths, after all, more than anything else to reap the fruits of your hardship.
I certainly wouldn’t risk my life by revealing their names :p. Most of you must be well aware of the top defaulters. Imagine all your hard earned money being robbed by individuals with a very strong reputation in the market. It has become a trend of sorts lately. I believe banks blindly go by the brand name and reputation to these folks when they disburse loans. Once these big brands come to a stage when they are unable to repay the amount, they simply escape the country altogether. I really wonder how can the government be so lenient towards such instances. Who is at loss? Banks, government, investors, and the country’s reputation on the whole. These are instances which have been lying unresolved for ages now. All that we can hope is for stringent policies to be incorporated to get control of such situations. These guys are no less than those bloody terrorists.
Remember one thing, it is we who make this system. You either lead it or get led by it. If you are led by an able leader and you yourself are responsible enough, you and your country will grow immensely without any boundaries. If you are on the other side of the coin whereby the apex institutions do not have an efficient workforce and you as an individual do not have any sense of responsibility, even God cannot save you from the miseries to come.