SBI requests 33% Reservation for Female Business Correspondents

SBI requests 33% Reservation for Female Business Correspondents

By: WE Staff

The Economic Research Department of the State Bank of India suggests a 33% reservation for women as business correspondents in order to empower women, enhance financial inclusion, and transform India's socioeconomic landscape.

Women's situation in India today is distinguished by both development and problems. While there has been significant progress in many areas, much more needs to be done to eliminate gender gaps, promote equal opportunities, and protect the safety and well-being of women across the country.

The State Bank of India's economic research department (ERD) pushes for a considerable increase in the number of women business correspondents (BCs) through a 33% reservation in a bold move toward socioeconomic reform. This shift's potential impact goes well beyond numbers; it has the ability to reshape the country's socioeconomic fabric for the better.

The ERD's quest for a significant rise in the number of women BCs is more than simply a statistical adjustment; it is a visionary initiative with the ability to reshape the country's socioeconomic fabric. The ERD intends to break down obstacles and provide possibilities for women to play a more prominent role in providing financial services, particularly in distant and disadvantaged regions, by confronting current gender disparities in this sector.
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Strengths of Women BCs

The ERD team believes that female BC agents can introduce a new level of openness to financial services. Their natural tolerance and desire to answer questions or explain product features distinguishes them. Furthermore, women BCs are more likely to reach consumers in distant places, meet the requirements of senior clients, and provide services to other underserved populations.

Soumya Kanti Ghosh highlights the several benefits of a female-dominated agent network. Mr. Soumya is the Group Chief Economic Advisor of the State Bank of India, where he is noted for his effective work in payroll data, devising successful initiatives for farmers and MSMEs, and serving on key economic committees. He has a doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and is often ranked among India's Best Individuals in Research.

Mr. Soumya envisions a scenario in which women BCs play a critical role in encouraging women to save, enrolling more first-time female users, facilitating low-value but high-frequency transactions, and providing financial services at their doorstep.

BCs' operations range from disbursing small-value credits to selling micro-insurance, mutual fund products, pension programs, and other third-party goods. This breadth of services becomes a tremendous instrument for financial inclusion, particularly when handled by women, who have a unique capacity to connect with and serve a larger range of consumers.

Impact on PMMY

The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY), created to meet the finance requirements of micro units and entrepreneurs, is one critical channel where the influence of women's engagement is seen. The ERD underlines the recent improvement in the financial status of female borrowers. PMMY distribution per woman increased significantly during this time, from Rs 22,872 in March 2016 to Rs 49,157 in March 2017. Concurrently, per woman deposits increased to Rs 42,500 from Rs 37,494, demonstrating the program's success in empowering women at the grassroots level.

PMMY evolves into more than just a financial program; it becomes a catalyst for women's empowerment, boosting economic independence and resilience. The impact on communities and families is obvious as women actively participate in micro-unit development.

The demand for a 33% reserve for female BCs is more than simply a figure; it is a bold move toward a more inclusive and empowered financial landscape. It is a recognition of the distinct skills and capabilities that women offer to the financial services industry. By embracing this transition, India has the chance to not only rewrite its economic story, but also pave the road for a more egalitarian and successful future.