1:08 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Aadhaar is adequate to open a bank account: Reserve Bank of India

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Aadhaar is adequate to open a bank account: RBI
Aadhaar is adequate to open a bank account: RBIIt would have crossed USD 25 billion as on date, RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan said on the sidelines of an event organised by the National Housing Bank.The Reserve Bank announced the swap windows for foreign currency non-resident (bank) deposits and overseas borrowings by banks on September 4, after the rupee declined about 30 percent against the dollar between April and August. The facility is open till November 30.The special window allows banks to swap fresh FCNR (B) dollar funds, mobilised for a minimum tenor of three years, at a fixed rate of 3.5 percent per annum.The RBI also allowed banks to borrow up to 100 percent of their tier-I capital from overseas, which can be swapped with the central bank at a concessional rate of 100 basis points below the rate prevailing in the market.Khan said the RBI had recently clarified that banks can get disbursement from multilateral agencies till December 31."There are some multilateral institutions who have taken some time to sanction the loans and release it. What we have said is that there is a commitment that they will be releasing so we have given time up to December 31 for the banks to take loans under tier-I from international financial institutions, multilateral financial institutions," he said."The transaction has to be booked before November 30. Forward to forward can be done up to December 31. This is limited only to banks who are on the process of negotiations with international financial institutions. We have issued a circular on this," he said.Asked if the RBI is considering an extension of the dollar-swap facility for oil marketing companies, Khan said, "In a calibrated manner, it is happening. And quite a big chunk is already there in the market...We don't foresee any problem."The swap windows have helped the rupee to gain almost 11 per cent since they were announced.Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said last week, "Till November 30, the FCNR-B window is open. We might even touch USD 25 billion."

The Reserve Bank of India’s committee on comprehensive financial services for small businesses and low-income households headed by Nachiket Mor on Friday said that the Aadhaar process was adequate to enable every Indian to get a bank account by January 1, 2016.

“Target is dependent on our perception of what is happening to Aadhaar. The bank account target is really an electronic target, as we have articulated it. The big task in really opening a bank account is verifying all the documents and the customer. This is all being done by Aadhaar. The thought was that banks make use of the verification being done by Aadhaar. As soon as an Aadhaar is issued, only an instruction has to be issued to a willing bank to go ahead and open an account. So, opening the account should not be a difficult task unless you argue that Aadhaar accounts will not be done by 2015,” said Mr. Mor, while addressing a press conference here.

“We had discussion with Nandan Nilekani also….. So, we fixed January 1, 2016, as a target,” said Mr. Mor adding, “if you think of it as an independent process, where banks have to go back and open these accounts, it will take a longer time. It also takes Rs.200-300 to open an account otherwise.”

The committee, while laying down its vision statement for financial inclusion and deepening, has suggested providing a universal bank account to all Indians above the age of 18 years by January 1, 2016. He said that the account opening process should be totally automatic and free. “But people will be happy to pay the money if you give them the service.”

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