The central board of the Reserve Bank met in Bhopal today and decided to prepare a financial inclusion plan for 2,736 Madhya Pradesh villages, with a population of over 2,000, as per the roadmap laid down in the last Union Budget.

“It was decided that a team of officers from RBI, commercial banks and state government would visit villages to make assessment of the work done, prepare a financial inclusion plan and ensure that by end of March 2012 all 2,736 villages with population of above 2,000 are covered in Madhya Pradesh,” RBI said in a statement.

A special plan is also to be drawn to include villages with a population of below 2,000, it added.

This is part of the financial inclusion initiative, ‘Swabhimaan’, announced by the government in the last Budget and formally inaugurated today in New Delhi by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Under the financial inclusion plan, the government has set a nationwide target of covering 73,000 new habitations, with population of 2,000 and above, with banking services by March 2012. Besides, banks will have to open five crore new accounts nationwide during the period.

“The state government has also assured to include financial education in the curriculum of schools at higher secondary level by the academic year 2012-13,” RBI said.

The meeting also discussed other matters like ensuring higher credit flow for education loans and issues relating to urban co-operative banks and security of bank branches.

During the course of the meeting, the banks agreed to achieve a overall target of 65 per cent of credit to deposit (CD) ratio by 2011-12. They also resolved to target 40 per cent CD ratio in the eight districts of Madhya Pradesh where the gap between credits and deposits by banks is large.

Today’s meeting was attended by RBI governor D Subbarao, along with other senior officials from the central bank and economists.

The Central Board of Directors of RBI meets at least once every quarter.

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