"Modi’s recent announcement of plans to bring about “banking for the poor” has been promoted as a bold step towards addressing poverty. “Financial inclusion” has been the buzzword describing plans to enable the most disenfranchised to open and administer bank accounts, and avail of financial services such as an ATM card, credit, and receive direct government aid instead of through intermediaries. While this does appear to represent an important concession for the “poor” there are serious problems to consider. First, 93% of India’s workforce is largely informal, including contract labor, construction labor (78% unorganized), casual labor, manufacturing labor, sweepers and scavengers, shop workers, and agricultural workers (predominantly unorganized). Second, India’s population is overwhelmingly impoverished, with more than 800 million living on less than Rs. 20 per day. The official minimum wage remains as low as Rs.115 ($2)/day. With such low wages and without protection from clearly regulated banking legislation the means for maintaining a functioning bank account are non-existent."