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Date : 07 Jan 2014

The report of the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households has been made possible only with the support and contributions of many individuals and organisations. The Committee would like to gratefully acknowledge this support.

The Committee expresses its gratitude to Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor, RBI, for entrusting it with the task of preparing a report on financial inclusion and financial deepening in India. The Committee also acknowledges his support throughout the course of the preparation of this report. The Committee would like to sincerely thank the Deputy Governors of Reserve Bank of India, Dr. K.C. Chakrabarty, Mr. Anand Sinha, Mr. H.R. Khan, and Dr. Urjit R. Patel, for providing valuable inputs and guidance on a range of issues pertaining to the Committee‘s mandate. In addition, the Committee benefited tremendously from the guidance of Executive Directors of the RBI: Mr. G. Padmanabhan on issues relating to payments and settlement systems, Mr. P. Vijaya Bhaskar on NBFCs and broader issues relating to Financial Inclusion, and Dr. Deepali Pant Joshi and Mr. S. Karuppaswamy for guiding the Committee in their capacity as Expert Observers. Ms. Usha Thorat and her team at CAFRAL ensured the Committee got the full benefit of the deliberations from their Udaipur conference on Mass Banking which proved to be very valuable. The Rural Planning and Credit Department (RPCD) of the RBI provided continuous support to the Committee, under the leadership of its Chief-General Manager-In-Charge, Mr. A. Udgata, who also acted as the Member-Secretary of the Committee, and with the help of Mr. A.K. Misra, General Manager, Sushma Vij, Deputy General Manager, and Mr. T.V. Rao, Deputy General Manager, who attended every meeting of the Committee. In addition, Regional Director, Mr. P. R. Ravi Mohan at RBI Bhopal, and Mr. R. L. Sharma and Ms. K. S. Jyotsana at RBI Dehradun helped the Committee by coordinating and providing valuable inputs from the field.

Many Committee members had dedicated teams working with them on the creation of this report. The Committee would like to thank all these teams for the quality of their inputs which have made such a report possible. In particular the Committee would like to thank Mr. Bahram Vakil, Ms. Richa Roy, and Mr. Ashwin Ramanathan of AZB Partners, Mr. Pawan Agarwal of CRISIL, Dr. K. Srinivasa Rao of Bank of Baroda, Mr. R. K. Bammi of Axis Bank, Mr. Amareesh Gulati of Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Ramesh Iyer of Mahindra Finance, Mr. M. I. Ganagi of NABARD, Mr. Ram Rastogi of NPCI, and Mr. Raman Taneja of IFMR Rural Finance for constantly engaging with the Committee and providing excellent feedback. The Committee would like to thank the representatives of NABARD, Axis Bank, NPCI, Mahindra Finance, and Bank of Baroda for graciously agreeing to host each of its meetings.

In order to ensure that the Committee had access to the most important ideas on various aspects of financial inclusion and deepening, many organisations conducted workshops for the benefit of the Committee. Workshops were held on issues as diverse as ensuring ubiquity of payments, financing micro and small enterprises, measurement and monitoring of financial inclusion and deepening, and the role of cooperative institutions. The Committee would like the express its thanks to Mr. Kabir Kumar and Ms. Shweta Banerjee of CGAP, Mr. Daniel Radcliffe, Mr. Jake Kendall and Mr. Kartik Raghavan of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms. Maya Vengurlekar of CRISIL, Mr. Puneet Chopra and Mr. Mukesh Sadana of Microsave, Ms. Amy Mowl and Ms. Sharon Buteau of IFMR Research, Mr. Ram Ramdas and Ms. Gayatri Ramnath of the Jana Urban Foundation, and Ms. Vijayalakshmi Shankar and Mr. S. Sankaranarayan of NABARD for helping put together these workshops.

The Committee also had the opportunity to meet and get inputs from some of the senior participants in the banking system and at UIDAI. The Committee would especially like to thank Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman of State Bank of India, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank, Mr. Aditya Puri, Managing Director of HDFC Bank, and Mr. Pramit Jhaveri, Chief Executive Officer of Citibank India, for their time and guidance. The Committee also had the opportunity to understand the potential for Aadhaar as a mechanism to drive financial inclusion and for this it would like to record its thanks to Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman and Mr. Rajesh Bansal, Assistant Director General of UIDAI.

The Committee appreciates and acknowledges the significant efforts put in by Ms. Simone di Castri of the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), Mr. Peer Stein, Ms. Jennifer Isern, and Ms. Swati Sawhney of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Mr. Alok Prasad and Ms. Pallavi Sen of the Micro Finance Institutions Network (MFIN), in presenting detailed submissions while responding to specific issues raised by the Committee. The Committee would like to express its gratitude for their substantial inputs to Dr. Viral Acharya of the New York University‘s Stern School of Business, Dr. Ajay Shah of the Macro Finance Group at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), Ms. Namrata Kaul and her colleagues from the Payments Group at the Frankfurt office of Deustche Bank, and Mr. Harish Natarajan and Mr. Massimo Cirasino of the Payments Group at the World Bank.

In addition, the Committee also benefited from inputs by Mr. Robert Annibale of Citi Foundation, Dr. Estelle Brack of Fédération Bancaire Française, Ms. Séverine Leboucher a French Financial Journalist who writes for Revue-Banque, Ms. Madhabi Buch of Greater Pacific Capital, Ms. Nimilita Chatterjee of Equifax India, Dr. Michael Chu of the Harvard Business School, Dr. Asli Demirgüc-Kunt of the World Bank, Dr. Robert DeYoung of the University of Kansas School of Business, Mr. Brahmanand Hegde of Vistaar Finance, Mr. Arun Jain of Polaris, Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala and Professor Gaurav Raina of IIT Madras, Mr. Sanjay Kaul of NCML, Mr. Manish Khera of FINO, Dr. José A. Lopez of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Mr. Susil Muhnot and Mr. Naveen Kumar Maini of the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Mr. Jagan Mohan of KBS Local Area Bank, Mr. Narayana Murthy of Infosys Limited, Ms. Kalpana Pandey of High Mark Credit Information Services, Ms. Smita Ramakrishna of RangDe, Dr. K. Ramakrishnan of the IBA, Dr. Elisabeth Rhyne of the Centre for Financial Inclusion at ACCION in Washington DC, Dr. Aruna Sharma of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Dr. P.S. Srinivas of the World Bank, Mr. Renny Thomas of McKinsey & Co., Ms. Amina Tirana on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, and Mr. M.Titus of Sa-Dhan.

In putting together this report, Mr. Bipin Nair, Assistant General Manager with the RPCD, acted as the Committee‘s Secretariat at the RBI and provided critical data, logistical and coordination support.

The Committee would in particular like to commend the enormous hard work put in by the IFMR Finance Foundation team - Ms. Deepti George, Mr. Rachit Khaitan, Mr. Dinesh Lodha, Mr. Vishnu Prasad, Dr. Santadarshan Sadhu, and Mr. Anand Sahasranaman who not only provided very useful research and technical support but also worked unstintingly to ensure that this report was completed in such a short span of time.

Finally, the Committee would like to thank all institutions and members of the public who wrote in with comments, thoughts, and suggestions. While it may not have been possible to use them all, the extent of interest and concern around the themes of financial inclusion and financial deepening once again reiterated the tremendous significance of these issues for India‘s present and future.