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Financial literacy is an aggregation of financial knowledge, financial behavior and financial attitude: Ms Mamta Rohit, Executive Director, PFRDA

New Delhi: PHDCCI, under the aegis of its Women and Child Development and Entrepreneurship Committee and the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance Committee organized FinCon: Financial Literacy Conference for Women on 28 June 2024 at PHD House, New Delhi. The aim of the conference was to enhance financial awareness among women through comprehensive panel discussions covering critical aspects of financial literacy, including investments, budgeting and savings, debt management, and more. The ultimate goal of the conference was to equip women with the necessary skills to manage their finances effectively.

Present on this occasion were senior officials from Regulatory bodies (PFRDA & RBI), Financial institutions/Banks (SIDBI & UCO Bank) and NBFCs along with Professionals including Ms Mamta Rohit, Executive Director, The Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA); Mr. Brijlal Singh, Deputy General Managers & Deputy Ombudsman, Reserve Bank of India (RBI); Dr. Pallavi Dinodia, Co-Chair, Direct Taxes Committee, PHDCCI & Partner, S.R. Dinodia & Co. LLP; Mr Sunil Kumar Bibhuty, Assistant General Manager, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI); Mr Amit Singh, Assistant General Manager, UCO Bank; Mr D.K. Malhotra, Vice President, RIA Insurance Brokers; Ms Ritu Prakash Singh, Senior Economist & Head- MSME Research, UGRO Capital; Ms Sweety Kothari, Founder Partner, KSMG & Co; Ms Disha Doogar, Founding Partner, Doogar and Associates LLC; Ms Deepti Mehra Chugh, Head – Investor Relations, Newgen Software; Ms Shalini S. Sharma, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI; Ms Babeeta Sharma, Senior Secretary, PHDCCI; Mr Sanjay Ahuja, Joint Secretary, PHDCCI and Ms Pratibha Sharma, Deputy Secretary, PHDCCI.

The programme saw good participation of academia, industry and professionals.

In the inaugural session, the Chief Guest Ms Mamta Rohit, Executive Director, PFRDA said that basically women are very good in management but financial literacy is very different from education which is the need of the hour. She highlighted that financial literacy is an aggregation of financial knowledge, financial behaviour and financial attitude and unless we will not have the financial attitude to save money, we will not be able to translate it into our financial behaviour.

During the presentation, she discussed that financial literacy has 10 essential components savings & investments; need vs want; three pillars of investments; impact of inflation; time value of money; power of compounding; price of procrastination; rule of 72; risk vs return & diversification. She emphasized the power of compounding, life & health insurance, national pension schemes, saving habits, diversification of investments with long term goals. She suggested to avoid over expenditure and guided to inculcate savings and safe investment habits in the younger age itself. Her presentation was very effective and insightful covering all the important aspects of financial literacy.

Mr. Brijlal Singh, Deputy General Managers & Deputy Ombudsman, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been observing Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year to propagate financial education messages to the public at large to empower them to engage in responsible financial behaviour and take informed financial decisions. He added that RBI has taken various steps to enhance financial inclusion and financial literacy. That is basically to learn “How to manage our own money”.

He emphasized on the habits of savings, safe investments to beat inflation, maintaining fund liquidity for emergency situations of life. He suggested paying the EMIs timely to maintain a good CIBIL score that will enhance the credibility of customers of the banks.

He said that frauds are very common nowadays, and everyone is vulnerable to it. The only way to protect one is through awareness and precautions. He suggested closing all the inoperative or dormant accounts which are not in use to avoid any kind of frauds that may happen through these accounts. He emphasized keeping nomination in all the bank accounts. He discussed many aspects of financial literacy very comprehensively in simplified words for better understanding of the audience.

Dr. Pallavi Dinodia, Co-Chair, Direct Taxes Committee, PHDCCI & Partner, S.R. Dinodia & Co. LLP said that financial literacy empowers women to navigate financial decisions confidently, secure their long-term well-being and contribute to the economy of the country.

She discussed the self-help groups in rural areas that get loan from the banks and disburses it further to the rural women as she herself cannot get the loan directly from the bank due to non-accessibility to the CIBIL Score.

She said that the organization called “Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship” has worked at three states in our country down at the grass root level with the Saheli Scheme of the National Livelihood Mission in which now in some states they are accepting the World Bank Score for giving loans to the women in rural areas. She also talked about various barriers in the financial literacy for women in our country and suggested a few solutions to improve the financial literacy.

Mr. D.K. Malhotra, Vice President, RIA Insurance Brokers gave a brief presentation on life and general insurance covering home, jewellery insurance and other insurance plans especially beneficial for women customers.

A very interactive and fruitful panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Shalini S. Sharma, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI covering three pillars of financial literacy: Investments, Budgeting & Savings, Debt Management. During the panel discussion, she asked multiple questions related to financial literacy and the role played by the banks, financial institutions and the professionals for the financial support to the women entrepreneurs.

The expert panelists Ms. Disha Doogar, Founding Partner, Doogar and Associates LLC; Ms. Sweety Kothari, Founder Partner, KSMG & Co ; Ms. Ritu Prakash Singh, Senior Economist & Head- MSME Research, UGRO Capital ; Mr. Sunil Kumar Bibhuty, Assistant General Manager, Small Industries Development Bank of India; Mr Amit Singh, Assistant General Manager, UCO Bank; Ms Deepti Mehra Chugh, Head – Investor Relations, Newgen Software shared their views and insights during the session and answered all the queries very efficiently.

Ms. Shalini S. Sharma, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI gave the welcome remarks and moderated a very interactive and fruitful panel discussion covering three pillars of financial literacy: Investments, Budgeting & Savings, Debt Management.

Ms. Babeeta Sharma, Senior Secretary, PHDCCI moderated the inaugural session & gave concluding remarks and formal vote of thanks for the program.

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