The current government is trying hard to change the ways Indians Bank, or let’s say the average Indian Banks. As per 2011 Census, a mere 59% households in India availed banking service (54% in rural India and 68% in urban India) showing a very sorry state of affair. A super power of tomorrow, India needs to pave its way towards a cashless economy and for that it needs its citizen to be banking friendly.
The GoI keeping the above in mind launched an ambitious financial inclusion scheme – Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) last year in August, in concurrence with the Inclusive Growth philosophy of the GoI- Sab Ka Sath Sab Ka Vikas. PMJDY is said to be one of its kind financial inclusion scheme. Under its umbrella it aims to provide not only basic banking facilities but also RuPay debit card, inbuilt accident insurance, life insurance, overdraft facility and so on. Though its main objective is to make banking available in as many households as fast as possible.
Contemplated to the be the biggest of its kind financial inclusion scheme, PMJDY made history, it holds the Guinness Book of World Records for opening most bank accounts in one week. Under the PMJDY 18,096,130 bank accounts were opened between 23rd and 29th August 2014. This is ‘Officially Amazing’ especially as the scheme was launched pan-India only on 28th August 2014.
Since then the scheme has done very well on an overall basis also, 19.21 crore (60.08% of these are in Rural India) accounts have been already opened under its blanket by the mid of November. Most of these accounts have been opened by the Public Sector Banks (78% of total accounts opened, 71% in Rural India); even the Regional Rural Banks have played a robust role especially in the rural areas (18% overall and 25% in Rural India). While, the not so famous Aadhaar Cards are the most common document provided to open the card, 42% of the accounts opened are Aadhaar seeded.
As the scheme aims to open a bank account for every non-banking household, to sweeten the deal the account holders have an option to open a zero balance account. At the start of the scheme every 3 of 4 (76.81%) accounts opened were zero balance accounts, by Nov 2015 mid this has come down to 36.49%. The combined balance in these accounts is now ₹ 26,800 crore plus. Few other interesting statistics are, 85% of the accounts opened have availed the RuPay Card facility. More than ₹11800 lacs has been given as overdraft to 837312 accounts holders, more than one-fourth of the amount has been given by Punjab National Bank alone. To add to this 9.14 crore accidental insurance and 2.85 life insurance policies have been issued. These figures show the increasing trust of the common man in the banking institutions.
PMJDY has created a lot of buzz on the right platforms, beginning from the its mega launch, the success of the Phase I and the ongoing success of the second phase, all which no doubt are laudable. In fact what is also praiseworthy is the use of technology, graphics and cartoons used to explain a seemingly difficult bunch of terminology to the common man. This is not the first financial inclusion scheme launched in India nor will it be the last. But PMJDY is definitely a stepping stone in the correct direction.