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Over 1.59 lakh crore balance in Jan-Dhan accounts surprises FM Sitharaman

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Over 1.59 lakh crore balance in Jan-Dhan accounts surprises FM Sitharaman

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday SIDBI should talk to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) for more funding and promote entrepreneurship. While underlining the need for the industry to become a lot more people-centric for the next 25 years, the FM said: "New, creative, out of the box ideas are required to keep the economy and bread butter going."

Over 1.59 lakh crore balance in Jan-Dhan accounts surprises FM Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that Jan-Dhan beneficiary accounts had a cumulative balance of Rs 159,879 crore, which she called "surprising".
"We thought Jan-Dhan accounts will be zero balance. Surprised by the amounts deposited," Nirmala Sitharaman said while inaugurating SIDBI’s third National Microfinance Congress.
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is the regulatory body for micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) finance companies in India.
"We need SIDBI to talk to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) for more funding. SIDBI should promote entrepreneurship," the FM said.
While underlining the need for the industry to become a lot more people-centric for the next 25 years, she said: "New, creative, out of the box ideas are required to keep the economy and bread butter going."
She said MSMEs and microfinance are important boxes to be ticked by the government. "The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had taken steps for banks like the LTRO (long-term repo operation) so that they can on-lend. The RBI made sure MFIs get money on time," she said.
Under LTRO, RBI provides longer-term (one- to three-year) loans to banks at the prevailing repo rate.
FM Sitharaman said there was a gradual shift towards “can I do my own” in terms of employment trends. She also said many states have a lot of CASA (current account saving account) that are not effectively deployed.
"SIDBI should wake up the dormant demand for skills and businesses. This will take care of people unattended to, startups can be roped in for this. Microfinance institutions should tell the government what can work," the finance minister said.
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