Financial inclusion in the country reached a historic milestone with the total number of Jan Dhan accounts crossing 50 crore. According to the data shared by the Ministry of Finance, out of these accounts, 56% belong to women. This reflects the impact of the scheme in empowering women by bringing them into the formal banking system. With a shift in focus on individuals from households, PMJDY has provided financial freedom to women.
Launched in 2014, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is one of the biggest people-centric initiatives for financial inclusion across the world. It has transformed the financial landscape of India, democratising access to financial services for everyone. Almost 67% of the Jan Dhan accounts have been opened in rural and semi-urban areas, ensuring greater access to financial services for the grassroots.
Under PMJDY, the total number of deposits in Jan Dhan accounts are above ₹2.03 lakh crore with an average balance of ₹4,076. Approximately 34 crore RuPay debit cards have been issued free of cost to the Jan Dhan account holders. One of the biggest advantages of Jan Dhan accounts is to ensure that direct benefit transfers of DBTs reach the eligible beneficiaries preventing leakages. More than 5.5 crore accounts are receiving DBTs under various schemes.
What is Jan Dhan Yojana
With a zero balance account under PMJDY, there is no additional burden on account holders that has led to the popularity of this initiative. The scheme offers an accident insurance cover of up to ₹2 Lakh with the RuPay card issued to the account holders. It also provides an overdraft facility of up to ₹10,000. PMJDY has been instrumental in driving financial literacy in the country. It promotes savings among individuals, enhances the use of ATMs, digital payments and provides universal access to banking through branch and banking correspondents.
During COVID lockdown, Jan Dhan accounts were used by the government to provide financial support to people. PMJDY accounts are also eligible for Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA) scheme. The National Mission for Financial Inclusion has proved to be a gamechanger in the expansion of formal banking among people. It leverages technology for an integrated approach to bring comprehensive financial inclusion of individuals at an affordable cost.
Boosting digitisation in India
Along with Aadhaar and increasing usage of mobile phones, Jan Dhan has given a fillip to digitisation of the economy. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the percentage of population covered with bank accounts has increased from 53% in 2015-16 to 78% in 2019-21. The progress achieved by the country far outpaces those of other countries that took almost half a century for the same level of development.
Rapid digitisation of the economy has also led to the development of many digital public goods including DigiLocker, e-KYC and UPI. The JAM trinity (Jan Dhan- Aadhaar- Mobile) has been instrumental in providing access to comprehensive financial services to the people. Formalisation of the economy with easy access to banking, credit and insurance incentivise higher consumption and investment, leading to higher economic growth.