The next phase of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana will focus on credit, insurance and pension services, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.
This scheme is a financial inclusion programme which has also brought 99.7 per cent of households in the country under banking system.
“Well begun is half done. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana provides a platform for changing the economic conditions of our people. We need to build on this success and leverage these accounts to provide our citizens a wide range of credit, insurance and pension services. We also need to maintain high standards of customer service. This is the next phase of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana,” Modi said in a congratulatory e-mail to all the bankers.
Guinness Book of World Records
The scheme, which was launched in August last year, has surpassed the target of 10 crore bank accounts by opening 11.5 crore accounts till date. In fact, the scheme got a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign during August 23-29, 2014.
Congratulating bankers, Modi said that when this mission was launched, many had doubts about the ability to achieve this task in a limited time span of five months. However, “you have proved skeptics wrong and achieved what appeared impossible. This feat alone should motivate you, as well as others to work to make our dreams a reality.”
He also stressed the need to redouble efforts on financial literacy. Aadhaar seeding needs to improve further. Bank Mitras need to be enabled to carry out RuPay card and Aadhaar-enabled transactions in villages itself.
“I want you to work to ensure that each account holder enrol for Aadhaar and seeds it in the bank account. This needs to be done for all accounts. I am sure you will do this seeding with the same zeal you showed in driving bank account opening,” Modi said.
Direct benefit transfer
The Prime Minister felt that most development activities were hindered by the single disability of not having bank accounts. Now this disability has been overcome.
“Benefits have already started flowing to people through some of the Direct Benefit Transfer schemes. This not only ensures that benefits reach people directly, but also utilises your accounts well,” he said, while assuring many more schemes utilise the DBT platform.
This issue is critical as out of 11.5 crore, only 3.23 crore (nearly 28 per cent) are operational, which means accounts with some balance.
Now, funds worth over Rs. 33,000 crore are expected to start flowing through these bank accounts by the end of this year. At the same time, the use of direct benefit transfer for LPG will be another instrument in this regard, although mainly in urban and semi-urban areas.
For 15.34 crore LPG customers, the Government has initiated the transfer of subsidy through bank accounts across the nation from January 1. In the first 20 days, over Rs. 620 crore was transferred through bank accounts. It is expected that Rs. 25-30 crore worth of subsidy will be distributed annually through bank accounts.