Financial Inclusion Current Affairs - 2019

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6th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural finance

The World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance (WCRAF) began in New Delhi on November 12, 2019. It aims at bringing together stakeholders of rural and agricultural finance all over the world. The Congress is an opportunity to strengthen business relations and to promote products and services.

Background

The Congress is held at regular intervals of 3 year period.

  • The first Congress was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2005.
  • The second congress was held in Bangkok in 2007.
  • The third Congress was held in 2010 in Marrakech, Morocco.
  • The fourth Congress was held in Paris in 2013
  • The 5th Congress was held in Dakar, Senegal in 2016.

6th Congress

The 6th WCRAF is being held in New Delhi. The Congress is co-hosted by NABARD-National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

Theme: “Rural and Agricultural Finance: Critical Input to achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Development”

Objectives

  • To promote Global value chains in agriculture
  • To help in tackling food security
  • To ensure agriculture is in line with sustainability, natural resource conservation and social harmony.

To achieve the objective the financial institutions should constantly evolve innovatively to provide rural people stable and constant financial services.

Significance

The Congress gives importance to financial institutions that promote agricultural and rural finances. These financial systems also help maintain social and environmental balances with their strong efforts.

The Congress aims at achieving the SDG Goals 1 and 2

SDG-1: Economic Growth should be inclusive providing sustainable development and promoting equality to end poverty by 2030

SDG-2: To promote investment in agriculture to enhance sustainable agricultural productivity and sustainable food production.

Global Microscope for Financial Inclusion report 2019: EIU

The 2019 edition of ‘Global Microscope: The enabling environment for Financial Inclusion’ report was released by Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU). The report is a benchmarking index that assesses enabling environment for financial access as well as underscores the evolving landscape of financial inclusion in selected countries. The year 2019 was 12th edition of report.

Key Highlights of Report

The overall environment for financial inclusion has improved worldwide. India, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay now have the most favourable conditions for inclusive finance, with Colombia being ranked at first position followed by Peru, Uruguay and Mexico and India ranked 5th.

India was ranked among top countries with most promising environment for financial inclusion in terms of:  effective financial consumer , allowing non-banks to issue e-money and proportionate customer due diligence.

Only four countries namely India, Colombia, Jamaica and Uruguay scored perfectly across all four parameters. Moreover, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Mexico and Uruguay were among top countries that safeguard e-money via some sort of deposit insurance or protection.

About Global Microscope for Financial Inclusion report

It is produced by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of The Economist Group. The EIU was created in 1946 and is the world leader in global business intelligence.

The Microscope report was first published in 2007 and was originally developed for countries in Latin American and Caribbean regions but in 2009 it was expanded into a global study. The 2019 edition of Global Microscope report also features 11 new gender focussed indicators that measure financial inclusion for both women as well as men.

The report is a benchmarking index that assesses enabling environment for financial access in 55 countries across 5 categories.

Five parameters across which countries are assessed-

(a)Government and Policy Support

(b)Products and Outlets

(c)Stability and Integrity

(d)Consumer Protection

(e)Infrastructure