New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) in Pune today, where he said that banks are the fulcrum of our economic system, and their efficiency in this role has earned the trust and respect of people.
The Constitution promised economic justice for all citizens, said Kovind, observing that banks were considered the crucial vehicle to deliver this Constitutional commitment. He commended banks for charting out a mandate well beyond their traditional role as a financial intermediary, and said India’s banks have done a commendable job in changing banking from an elitist pursuit to a service available to common men and women.
Millions of lives have been touched through direct transfer of funds under various welfare schemes to bank accounts of the poor and needy, said Kovind, adding that after independence banks were also considered part of a social contract of ensuring growth with equity.
Considering the importance of banks in the economic system of the country, the Banking Regulation Act was implemented in 1949, Kovind observed, and said that the founding fathers of the Nation were very conscious of the role banks have to play as holders of public trust.
The President urged all bankers to judge their actions by this touchstone given to us and said that as custodians of public money, banks have significant fiduciary responsibility in the economy. They have to take all possible prudential measures to ensure that trust is not betrayed in any manner, urged Kovind, and expressed his belief that the recent proposal to enhance Deposit Insurance Coverage from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh is a positive step in the direction of assuring savers.
The President said that India has become one of the largest economies in the world, and banks have been a constant part of India’s growth saga. As India aims to become a $5 trillion economy, the banking sector has to start preparing for the next big leap, he predicted, adding that this mainly involves “banking with the unbanked” and “securing the unsecured”.
In this pursuit, he urged NIBM to undertake the responsibility of creating a pool of trained human resource, which is skilled to serve banking institutions of global standards.
The President said that India’s future journey will be greatly helped if banks exhibit deeper reach and become more efficient. Given the growing size of the economy, India should aim to have more than just one name in the world’s top 100 banks, he said.
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