What is Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana?
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana launched by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on 28 August 2014 during his first Independence Day speech is India’s first National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely Banking Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance, and Pension in an affordable manner. The Prime Minister said that though the initial target of PMJDY was to open bank accounts for 7.5 Crore families in one year, he had exhorted the concerned officials to complete the task before the next Republic Day. Run by Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, on the inauguration day, 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened under this scheme. Prime Minister had referred to the ancient Sanskrit verse: Sukhasya Moolam Dharma, Dharmasya Moolam Artha, Arthasya Moolam Rajyam – which puts the onus on the state to involve people in economic activity. “This Government has accepted this responsibility,” the Prime Minister had said. The Prime Minister had also sent an email to an estimated 7.25 lakh bank employees, exhorting them to help reach the target of 7.5 Crore bank accounts, and bring freedom from financial untouchability.
The purpose behind this scheme is to provide universal and clear access to banking facilities starting with “Basic Banking Account” with the overdraft facility of 5,000 (US$74) after six months and RuPay Debit card with inbuilt accident insurance cover of 1 lakh (US$1,500) and RuPay Kisan Card. In next phase, micro insurance & pension etc. will also be added. Initially, the account holders will be provided zero balance bank account and after six months of the opening of the bank account, holders can avail 5,000 (US$74) overdrafts from the bank. Account holders can also check balance and transfer funds through a normal phone which was initially limited to just smartphones. The account can be opened in any bank branch or business correspondent outlet specially designed for the purpose of opening the accounts under this scheme. The scheme also provides a facility of accidental insurance cover up to rupees one lakh without any charge for the account holder. If the account holder wishes to get a cheque book, he/she will have to fulfill minimum balance criteria, if any, of the bank. The government has recently doubled the limit for cash withdrawal at points of sale, for debit cards and open system prepaid cards issued by banks in India, to Rs 2,000 per day in tier III to tier VI centers. Banks have also been asked not to levy any charges for text messages on PMJDY accounts and basic savings bank deposits accounts.
Guinness Book of World Records – External website that opens in a new window also recognized the achievements made under PMJDY. It gave the certificate stating that the “Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial Services, Government of India from 23rd to 29th August 2014.”
Documents required opening an account under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana
- Aadhaar Card (if available then no other document required)
- Voter ID
- Driving License
- PAN Card
- NREGA Card
- A letter issued by a gazetted officer, with a duly attested photograph of the person.
Special Benefits under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana
- Interest on deposit.
- Accidental insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh
- No minimum balance required.
- The scheme provides life cover of Rs. 30,000/- payable on the death of the beneficiary, subject to fulfillment of the eligibility condition.
- Easy Transfer of money across India
- Beneficiaries of Government Schemes will get Direct Benefit Transfer in these accounts.
- After satisfactory operation of the account for 6 months, an overdraft facility will be permitted
- Access to Pension, insurance products.
- The Claim under Personal Accidental Insurance under PMJDY shall be payable if the RuPay Card holder has performed minimum one successful financial or non-financial customer induced transaction at any Bank Branch, Bank Mitra, ATM, POS, E-COM etc. Channel both Intra and Inter-bank i.e. on-us (Bank Customer/RuPay card holder transacting at same Bank channels) and off-us (Bank Customer/RuPay card holder transacting at other Bank Channels) within 90 days prior to the date of the accident including accident date will be included as eligible transactions under the RuPay Insurance Program 2016-2017.
- Overdraft facility up to Rs.5000/- is available in only one account per household, preferably lady of the household.