PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the DBUs will encourage financial inclusion and enhance banking experience for citizens. Pic: Prasar Bharati

PM Modi dedicates 75 digital banking units across 75 districts

To augment the digital infrastructure in the country, seventy-five Digital Banking Units (DBUs), have been established in a record time of six months in 75 districts to commemorate 75 years of independence, said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das in a virtual address on October 16.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who dedicated the 75 DBUs to the nation, said on the benefits of DBUs that it will further encourage financial inclusion and enhance banking experience for citizens. He underlined the fact that these services will be free of paperwork and other hassles and will offer facilities as well as strong digital banking security.

Also read: E-passbook facility for Post Office Savings Bank account; details here

According to the RBI Governor, the DBUs are one more significant step in the ongoing campaign to simplify the lives of common people. Calling them a “special banking facility” that’ll provide maximum services through minimum digital infrastructure, he added, that these banking units “will provide services related to identifying government schemes”.

Moreover, Das pointed out, in recent years, digital banking has emerged as a preferred channel for delivering banking services across India and the Central bank has been taking progressive measures to improve the availability of digital infrastructure in banking services.

Why DBUs?

As part of Budget 2022-23, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced setting up 75 DBUs in as many districts of the country to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence. The DBUs are being set up to ensure the benefits of digital banking reach every nook and corner of the country. Eleven banks in the public sector, 12 in the private sector and one Small Finance Bank are participating in this endeavour.

What are DBUs?

DBUs have been explained in a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office as “brick-and-mortar outlets providing a variety of digital banking facilities to people. This will include the opening of savings accounts, balance-check, print passbooks, transfer of funds, investment in fixed deposits, loan applications, applying for credit and debit cards, paying taxes and bills etc”.

Further, the statement described DBUs as enablers for people to “have cost-effective, convenient access and enhanced digital experience of banking products and services” all the year round.

Also, DBUs will offer real-time assistance and redress customer grievances arising from business and services offered by them directly or through business facilitators/ correspondents.

Also read: RBI to launch e-rupee on pilot basis, releases concept note

They will spread digital financial literacy and special emphasis will be given to customer education on cyber security awareness and safeguards.

Dig at UPA government

In his virtual address,  PM Modi took a dig at the UPA government stating that the BJP government is going all out to make efforts to replace the pre-2014 ‘phone banking’ with ‘digital banking’.

Referring to the previous UPA regime, he said under ‘phone banking’, instructions were given on the phone to banks regarding whom they had to lend to and at what terms and conditions.

The economic progress of a country is directly linked to the strength of its banking system, he said after dedicating 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) to the nation. The banking sector has become a medium for good governance and better service delivery, and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has helped plug leakages and brought in transparency, added PM Modi.

Until now, the government has transferred ₹25 lakh crore through DBT and another installment under the PM-KISAN scheme will be transferred on Monday, he said.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, a financial benefit of ₹6,000 per year is provided to the eligible farmer families, payable in three equal installments of ₹2,000.

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