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PM launches customer centric initiatives of RBI; opens one trillion dollar govt bond market to individual investors

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually launched two innovative customer centric initiatives of RBI namely, the Retail Direct Scheme and the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme. Addressing the event in the presence of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, the Prime Minister said these schemes will expand the scope of investment in the country and make access to capital markets easier and more secure for investors.

Emphasizing the citizen centric nature of these schemes, Mr. Modi said the biggest touchstone of any democracy is the strength and proactiveness of its grievance redressal system, adding that the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme will go a long way in that direction.

Stating that the Retail Direct Scheme will ensure easier and safer access for smaller investors in government securities, the Prime Minister said the provision of guaranteed settlement for government securities gives assurance of safety to citizens to invest their small savings. He said small investors will now have direct access to government securities and will no longer be reliant on indirect investment agencies like banks, insurance companies or mutual funds. He informed that investors just need to open a Retail Direct Gilt Account by logging on to the RBI Retail Direct’s official website. One does not need any fund manager to handle the account and investors can operate it on their own from their smartphones. The account can also be linked to the investor’s savings bank account. It may be noted that there will be no charges for opening the Retail Direct Gilt Account.

Praising the Finance Ministry and RBI for their efforts during the pandemic, Mr. Modi said the positive effects of wide ranging banking reforms like financial inclusion and technology integration were evident during the difficult times of COVID-19. He added that the banking and insurance facilities that were beyond the reach of many have been made accessible to all, including farmers, small traders, women, the deprived and poorer sections of society. He added that more than 1.25 crore beneficiaries, especially MSMEs and small entrepreneurs have strengthened their enterprises by availing loans worth two lakh ninety thousand crore rupees under the Credit Guarantee Scheme.

Highlighting the fact that India’s banking system is now operational round the clock, anywhere across the country, Mr. Modi said India has jumped 19 times in terms of digital transactions in the past seven years.

Emphasizing that the current government is focused on resolution and recovery, Mr. Modi said non-performing assets have been identified with transparency in the last seven years. He said recapitalization of public sector banks, bringing cooperative banks under the purview of RBI and many such reforms have improved public’s trust in the banking system.

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