According to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Sunday speech, “financial inclusion is a crucial step towards inclusive growth that supports the entire economic prosperity of the marginalized parts of society.”
On the eighth anniversary of the flagship financial inclusion scheme, she proclaimed, “The success of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) since August 28, 2014 is reflected in terms of opening of over 46 crore bank accounts with deposit balance of 1.74 lakh crore with its expanded coverage to 67% rural or semi-urban areas.”
When PMJDY was extended past 2018, it underwent significant changes to adapt to the new financial inclusion (FI) scenario in the country.
The minister was quoted as saying that the government’s goal of reaching “every household” has shifted to reaching “every adult,” with a greater emphasis on account usage achieved through measures such as increasing Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) flows through these accounts and promoting digital payments via RuPay cards.
She remarked that the foundational tenets of PMJDY, which include banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured, and funding the unfunded, have made it possible to embrace a multi-stakeholder collaborative strategy and leverage technology to serve the unserved and underserved.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the Jan Dhan Yojana in his Independence Day address in 2014. It officially began operations on August 28 of same year.
Fast DBT made possible by JAM
In addition, she mentioned that instant DBT under various government welfare schemes to the eligible beneficiaries was made possible thanks to the JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) pipeline, which was created through the consent-based linking of bank accounts with Aadhar and mobile numbers of the account holders.
Ms. Sitharaman explained that the seamless and on-time distribution of ex-gratia payments to women PMJDY account holders under the PM Garib Kalyan Package was made possible by the infrastructure developed under the FI ecosystem.
Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad remarked that PMJDY was among the world’s most ambitious efforts to expand access to formal financial services for the country’s underserved population.
He emphasized that the government places a high priority on financial inclusion since it helps the poor by giving them a way to transfer their savings into the more secure and transparent official financial system and a channel through which to send money home to their families.
If no customer-initiated transactions are made in a PMJDY account for more than two years, the account will be closed in accordance with current RBI criteria.
According to the most recent data, out of a total of 46.25 billion PMJDY accounts, 37.57 billion (81.2%) are active. The average deposit per account is 3,761 and only 8.2% of PMJDY accounts have zero balances.
At last count, there were 31,94,00,000 RuPay cards in the hands of PMJDY account customers. The quantity and frequency with which RuPay cards are used have both grown over time.
The Finance Ministry has issued a statement promising to work toward include PMJDY account holders in existing micro insurance programs.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) coverage will be sought for eligible PMJDY account holders (PMSBY). It was also said that the banks had been informed of the situation.