Guv inaugurates Financial Literacy Week, stresses on spreading awareness at grassroots

Financial Literacy Week

Today, Governor Ganga Prasad opened the Reserve Bank of India, Gangtok’s Financial Literacy Week 2022 at Mayfair Resort in Ranipool.

Since 2016, the Reserve Bank of India has held a Financial Literacy Week from February 14 to 18 across the country. “Go Digital, Go Secure” is the theme for 2022, which corresponds to one of the strategic objectives of the National Strategy for Financial Education 2020-25.

Dr. K. Jayakumar, additional chief secretary and SLBC Sikkim chairman, Major Sandeep Mishra, Manish Kumar Verma, Tenzing Loden Lepcha, Superintendent of Police (CB-CID, Sikkim), NABARD general manager and officer-in-charge Dr. Diwakar Hegde, SBI general manager and SLBC convenor Ashok K. Mahakul, and RBI general manager and officer-in-charge Kishore Pariyar, along with other

Governor Ganga Prasad spoke about the importance of financial literacy at the grassroots level during the launch of Financial Literacy Week 2022. He urged everyone to make sure that accurate information about government policies, digital finance options, and security is widely disseminated in order to raise awareness and understanding among all citizens of the state.

The Governor, citing the State’s potential in the medicinal plant sector, suggested focusing on commercial medicinal plant cultivation and promoting a strong marketing strategy to explore opportunities and challenges in this sector. These initiatives, he said, would assist the state in moving in the right direction of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

He also urged residents of the state to go to banks and speak with officials to clear up any doubts they may have about the digital finance system and gain a better understanding of the safety and security of digital transactions.

In a brief address, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. K. Jayakumar praised the efforts made by banks with the support of the State government to assist the people of Sikkim in the field of digital finance. He also thanked the Governor for allowing public access to the Raj Bhavan grounds. According to the ACS, the State government has pledged its strong support for Udyam registration in Sikkim.

He emphasised the importance of financial literacy and inclusion, as well as the need to serve the economically disadvantaged without discrimination in order to ensure that equity is accessible to all.

Tenzing Loden Lepcha, Superintendent of Police, briefed the audience on the various aspects of cyber security and cyber fraud that come with fast-paced digital developments. Identity theft, phishing, and other hacking activities such as sextortion designed to defraud people of money have been increasing at an alarming rate, according to him, and the best way to combat these crimes is through prevention, outreach, and awareness.

He spoke about Mission SAFAI (Sikkim Against Fraud Action Initiative), a Sikkim Police initiative that uses short animated videos in both English and Nepali to show how people are duped. He added that six such awareness videos based on various fraud scenarios have been produced to date, and the Sikkim Police intends to produce more of them for public distribution with the support and coordination of all Sikkim banks.

Lepcha also emphasised the importance of banks thoroughly vetting KYC documents in order to prevent criminals from using mule accounts to launder money from vulnerable citizens. He expressed his desire to work with stakeholders to ensure that proactive work on Mission SAFAI is carried out so that innocent people do not lose their hard-earned money to fraudsters.

The three messages of this year’s Financial Literacy Week, according to RBI Gangtok general manager Kishore Pariyar, are (a) convenience of digital transactions, (b) security of digital transactions, and (c) protection to customers. He went on to say that the rise of digitalisation in formal financial services, as well as citizens’ increased access to technology-enabled gadgets, has a huge potential to support the Government of India’s and Reserve Bank of India’s financial inclusion initiatives, which they are pursuing through various policy measures from time to time.

Digital Financial Services include the following features: (a) anywhere, anytime transactions, (b) interoperability, and (c) the creation of transaction histories that can be used to improve access to credit and relevant financial services for a variety of target groups, he added.

On these messages, the Reserve Bank of India has created content in the form of posters and audiovisuals. RBI Gangtok will disseminate information and raise awareness among various bank customers and the general public during Financial Literacy Week through a series of Nukkad Nataks, financial literacy vans, radio jingles, posters, and other activities that the RBI Gangtok has planned across the various districts.

In addition, during the months of February and March this year, a mass media campaign will be launched to broadcast important financial awareness messages on Sikkim’s local radio stations.

SBI general manager Ashok K. Mahakul also spoke at the event, where he discussed the key parameters of digital banking, including access, usage, and quality. Similarly, the general manager and officer-in-charge of NABARD informed the house about the link between local products and e-commerce.

The inaugural event ended with the launch of a mobile van for a financial literacy campaign from the Mayfair location. A Nukkad Natak was also performed, with messages about digital transactions and crimes.

Through the Governor’s hands, the RBI Gangtok also handed over backpacks to the children of the Child Care Institute Home of Bojoghari.

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