MUMBAI (AFP) - A third of India's cash machines don't work, the central bank said, posing a challenge for the government as it strives to provide banking services to millions of poor citizens living in rural areas.
The Reserve Bank of India surveyed almost 4,000 ATMs across the country with a "sample size fairly representing geographies and bank categories", according to Deputy Governor S.S Mundra.
"Survey results are not comforting in any way. Almost one third of the ATMs were found to be not working at that point," he said in a speech in Mumbai late on Monday (May 24).
Many ATMs did not make provisions for disabled citizens, the deputy governor added.
"Violation of regulatory instructions on display material, facilities for differently abled etc. were also observed. We will be taking necessary supervisory action in this regard," Mr Mundra said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made bringing millions of Indians into the financial system a priority since he was elected two years ago and wants every citizen to have a bank account.
The World Bank estimates that about 53 percent of Indian adults now have access to a formal bank account.
Functioning ATMs are seen as vital to driving financial inclusion, particularly in remote areas where banks may not open branches.
In his annual budget speech in February India's finance minister, Arun Jaitley, announced a "massive nationwide rollout" of ATMs over the next three years.