Hyderabad, March 18 (NSS): Governor E S L Narasimhan today inaugurated a training program on “e-Payments, Financial Inclusion and Social Security” for Civil Servants from ASEAN countries — Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia at the Raj Bhavan. The first-ever training program for global audience, being conducted by Dr MCR HRD Institute, has been sponsored by ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said the enhanced internet connectivity and high rate of penetration of smart phones gave a big boost to the use of e-payments and e- commerce, which brought in multiple benefits. “India’s digital payment system will be worth around $500 billion by 2020, thereby contributing to a whopping 15% of India’s gross domestic product in four years, the Governor said.
The Governor also stated that the surging tide of digitization and electronic payments will result in sustainable growth only when their focus was on ameliorating the lot of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of the society. “Empowering the weaker sections in terms of their education, health and economic profile, will make them more productive, increase their purchasing power and ultimately result in higher Gross Domestic Product”’, he stated. He also said electronic and Digital payments, Financial Inclusion and Social Security are three important pillars, which happen to be triangularly connected and target to make economy of all developing countries strong and stable across the globe.
The Governor said both the Central and State Governments introduced many innovative social security programs, including banking outlets across the country, scholarships for students, public distribution system, national rural employment guarantee scheme, a huge network of PHCs, welfare of women and child, pension schemes for poor and so on. “All these initiatives will be greatly instrumental not only in enhancing the GDP, but also increasing the Gross Happiness Quotient of people.
The Governor opined that the attention of policy-makers across the globe has been on the urban areas. He, therefore, underlined the need for a greater focus on poor people residing in rural areas, understanding their unique problems and finding out the impact of different schemes of Government in bringing about a qualitative change in their lives. “Statistics as a field of study should undergo a total transformation in order to become pro-poor in terms of its focus”, he emphasized.
The Governor stressed the need for increasing financial literacy on the part of people belonging to weaker sections of society relating to savings, investments, and availing credit from the banks in order to protect them from unscrupulous money lenders who charge high interest rates.
B P Acharya, IAS, Ex-Officio Special Chief Secretary & DG, Dr MCR HRD Institute, said the poor levels of awareness of financial products and services are often the reasons for financial exclusion. “India’s worth-emulating success stories in addressing the challenge of educating millions of its citizens on the use of technology-enabled financial solutions would be of great interest to the ASEAN Civil Servants”, he said and added that the training program, inter alia, will provide a vibrant platform not only in exchanging ideas and experiences on e-Payments, Financial Inclusion, and Social Security but also in identifying global best practices in these domains.
Harpreet Singh, IAS, Additional Director General, Dr MCR HRD Institute proposed a vote of thanks.