‘Financial Inclusion’ Initiatives, 2014–17
This chapter explores the principal moves made to realise the policy shift examined in Chapter 3. It focuses on initiatives from 2014 to 2017, including: a programme to open bank accounts for the poor (Jan Dhan Yojana), a biometric identity number scheme underpinned by a 2016 Act of Parliament (Aadhaar), and the move to replace 86% of the circulating cash in the market (demonetisation/remonetisation). The Goods and Services Tax (GST) system from 2017 is also considered briefly. These have all been intensively discussed in mass-market and scholarly publications, but not quite along the lines elaborated here. It is argued that such ‘financial inclusion’ initiatives are best understood as deriving from and working amidst a network of global-national-local interests and investments. This chapter lays out the rationale which links up and enables this network to work in a coherent manner.