New Delhi: The Global Findex Report, 2017 released by the World Bank on Friday gives India more than one reason to cheer, as it notes the rapid increase in financial inclusion that has taken place in the country.
The report lists how the number of account holders in the country has risen from 35 per cent of the adults in 2011 and 53 per cent in 2014 to 80 per cent in 2017.
This, as per the report, is comparable to 80 per cent of adults in China who have an account.
It also attributes the progress being driven by the Jan Dhan Yojana policy which has used biometric ID to expand access to financial services.
Further, it may be pertinent to note that the report sources its data largely from surveys that were conducted in the summer of 2017.
According to the government data sourced from the banks, the total number of Jan Dhan account holders has risen from 28.17 crore in March 2017 to 31.44 crore in March 2018.
The total number of current and savings accounts in banks has risen from 122.3 crore in March 2015 to 157.1 crore in March 2017.
The report states that about 51.4 crore accounts have been opened globally from 2014 to 2017.
It is heartening to see that of these 51.4 crore accounts, the number of Jan Dhan Accounts opened in India during the same period is about 28.17 crore, constituting almost 55 per cent of the accounts opened globally during this period.
Further, the report takes cognizance of the “dramatically increased account ownership” in India and reduced gender gap in ownership by six percentage points vis-a-vis 2014 with 83 per cent of the men and 77 per cent women now having an account.
Moreover, among MUDRA loan beneficiaries, women account for almost 75 per cent.
This reveals how, building on this basic foundation of providing a bank account to all its people, India has huge potential to further improve theaccount usage.
In what can be seen as an answer to apprehensions raised earlier by some critics on usage of digital payments in India, the report states that 36 percent of account owners in India are already using their accounts to make or receive digital payments.
It has also identified the large existing potential in India which can be utilised to improve on this count and give people more opportunities to use their accounts for digital transactions and mobile payments.
It recognises the availability of bank accounts, debit cards and mobile connections in India, which would be critical in improving the account usage in future.
In other words it may be said that the report reaffirms the potential of the “Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM) Trinity” in expanding financial inclusion.
Other potential target groups identified in the report to increase digital payments are adults in India who have an account and a mobile phone.
Among these are about 50 million adults receiving payments for sale of agricultural goods, about 70 million adults working in the private sector and receiving wage payments in cash and about 170 million adults who pay their utility bills in cash.
This heartening review of India’s financial inclusion and digital payment initiatives by the Global Findex Report, 2017 and the identification of potential waiting to be unlockedgives further impetus to the Government’s ongoing efforts for financial inclusion.
WPI inflation at 8-month low of 3.80 pc in Dec on softening fuel, food prices
New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 8-month low of 3.80 per cent in December, 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64 per cent in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017. According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07 per cent in December, against 3.31 per cent in November.
Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55 per cent in December, compared to 26.98 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38 per cent, nearly half of 16.28 per cent in November.
This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December. Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87 per cent during December.
Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68 per cent in December, as against 86.45 per cent in November.
Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11 per cent, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55 per cent. Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83 per cent in December, compared to 47.60 per cent in November.
The 3.80 per cent inflation is the lowest in 8 months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62 per cent. Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.
The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.
Air tickets, identity cards to become redundant; flyers can use facial recognition to enter airport
New Delhi: The hassle to show air tickets and identity cards at Airport will be over as air travellers can soon enter airport with facial recognition biometric facility.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), has successfully conducted the trial of facial recognition technology. During the first phase of the trial, employees of GHIAL were included. The second phase of the trial is expected to be launched by the end of this month, in which GHIAL will include common air fliers. And if the second phase of the trial is successful, GHIAL will implement facial recognition technology in Hyderabad airport from March onwards.
Three phases of facial recognition technology
First phase: GHIAL has installed facial recognition cameras in the Hyderabad. In the first phase, the imaging of passengers will be done through these cameras which will recognise the faces of the flyers.
Second phase: There would be a centralised registration system for passengers. Each passenger’s face will be attached with his/her photo identity like passport, Aadhaar, voting id, driving licence etc. The details of passengers along with his facial mapping will be scanned and stored by GHIAL through the centralised registration system at the Airport.
Third phase: The ID proof of the passengers along with their facial mapping will be stored at the e-boarding gate of the Airport.The data centres at Airlines will also have similar information. Whenever such passengers book tickets, the data system will alert the Hyderabad Airport authorities.
The moment you book a flight ticket originating from Hyderabad airport, your details will be shared by the data centre and the information will be given to all the concerned authorities.
When you reach the Hyderabad terminal gate, face recognition technology will identify you and all your details will be shared on the screen. The security personnel at the gate will access all your information via the system.
Similarly, your details can be accessed by the security personnel at the check-in counter, security check-in. Once the formalities are done, passengers will get an online boarding pass on their mobile phone.
Maruti all-new WagonR 2019 available for booking at Rs 11,000
New Delhi: Country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said that its all-new WagonR is available for booking starting.
Customers can book the 3rd generation WagonR at authorized dealer network across the country by paying Rs 11,000. They can also book the car online.
The New WagonR is powered by the advanced K-series engine offering high fuel efficiency and an unmatched driving experience, Maruti said. The car now comes with a new 1.2 L engine option that delivers powerful and impressive performance coupled with great fuel economy. Customers will also have the choice of 1.0 L engine for the all-new WagonR.
Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed two pedal technology will also be offered in the new WagonR. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) offers. Maruti said that for the first it is going to offer the most innovative SmartPlay Studio infotainment experience in the Big New WagonR.
The car will be available in Pearl Poolside Blue, Pearl Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Pearl Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White Range of variants. The Petrol: 1.0 L engine will be available in Lxi, Vxi / Vxi AGS variants while the Petrol: 1.2 L will be available in Vxi, Vxi AGS, Zxi / Zxi AGS variants.
“The new WagonR gets bigger with enhanced comfort. The car’s sturdy and masculine look with true tall boy design makes for a strong road presence. The Big New WagonR not only embodies strong looks but is also stronger inside out,” Maruti said in a release.