The committee headed by RBI Executive Director Deepak Mohanty also made a case for more ATMs, removal of surchage on card transactions and introduction of simpler registration process for customers to seed their mobile number.

Besides, banks have to make special efforts to step up account opening for women, and the government may consider a deposit scheme for the girl child, Sukanya Shiksha, as a welfare measure, said the Committee on 'Medium-term Path on Financial Inclusion'.

It further said commercial banks may be enabled to open specialised interest-free windows with simple products like demand deposits and to offer products based on cost plus financing and deferred payment, deferred delivery contracts on the asset side.

The Mohanty panel is of the view that given the low penetration of ATMs, installing more ATMs in rural and semi-urban centres will create more touch points for customers. The Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) may be utilised to encourage rural ATM penetration.

The panel felt that "although a quantum jump in banking access has taken place, a significant element of regional exclusion persists that need to be addressed by stepping up the inclusion drive in the north-eastern, eastern and central states to achieve near-universal access".

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