Sonia launches fin inclusion campaign for rural India

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhitoday launched the campaign ''Swabhimaan'' that aims to bringbanking services to vast unbanked rural areas in the country.

"The UPA government under the leadership of ManmohanSingh seeks to ensure that the benefits of economic growthmust reach the aam aadmi at every level.

The policies of the government are specifically designedto ensure inclusive growth, particularly of the marginalisedand weakest sections without whose empowerment the country''sprogress will always be impaired," she said.

Gandhi said the growth story of the country has toinclude access to banking services for the common people.

"One of the most important objective of the campaignwouldbe to enable small and marginal farmers obtain credit at lowerrates from banks and other financial institutions insulatingthem from exploitation of the moneylenders," she said.

The UPA chairperson urged the bankers to take a proactivestep in helping the marginalised segments.

"I would like to urge our bankers to take up this taskwith a sense of responsibility and understanding and exercisecourtesy and respect, specially to small borrowers," Gandhisaid.

Under the financial inclusion drive announced byFinance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during the last budget, thegovernment has set a target of covering 73,000 newhabitations, with population of 2,000 and above under thebanking services by March 2012.

Besides, banks banks will have to open five crore newaccounts during the period.

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