New secy reviews Jan Dhan progress

Target of opening 7.5 crore accounts to be achieved much before the deadline, but some of the issues flagged earlier remains relevant

GN BUREAU | November 14, 2014



The finance ministry is leaving no stone unturned to make the pradhan mantri jan dhan yojna (PMJDY) a success. It has now advised banks to undertake a “campaign to disseminate information and awareness among the masses”.

Hasmukh Adhia, the new secretary of the department of financial services, ministry of finance, reviewed the progress in implementation of PMJDY with state level banking committee (SLBC) conveners of all states. The meeting called for the active engagement of the state governments for successful implementation of PMJDY.

Till November 12, 7.33 crore accounts have been opened under PMJDY -- 4.34 crore accounts in rural area and 2.98 crore in urban areas.

Kerala, which tops many social indices like literacy rate and sex ratio, has also done well in financial inclusion. On November 11 it was declared as ‘100 percent saturated state’ (in terms of coverage of all households with at least one bank account) by the finance Minister of Kerala.

In addition, Goa, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and three districts of Gujarat (Porbandar, Mehsana, Gandhi Nagar), have also covered all households under PMJDY with at least one bank account.

The task of conducting the survey to ascertain the number of households with at least one bank account is also proceeding towards completion. According to the finance ministry, 83 percent of the survey work has been completed and banks have been asked finish the job by the end of the month.

According to the department of financial services, initial results indicate that on an average about 80 percent of the households surveyed have now got at least one bank account.

To incentivise the bankers, a scheme of rewards has been framed and communicated to them.

However, some of the issues that were flagged earlier remain relevant. One of the concerns was that in the absence of tailor-made financial products to suit the needs of the poor, the scheme might lead to many dormant accounts, and eventually make the scheme irrelevant.

The fact that of the total 7.33 crore accounts opened 5.53 crore accounts are with zero balance hints at validity of the concern. Also, of the total 7.33 accounts opened only 4.06 crore RuPay debit cards have been issued till date.

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