Government proposes to further strengthen its national mission on financial inclusion under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) by extending facilities for micro insurance including life and accident cover for all account holders under the scheme.

In its eighth year of operation, the Union government is set to further enrich the scheme by bringing account holders under digital transaction platform by including RuPay debit card usage amongst PMJDY accountholders through creation of acceptance infrastructure across India.

Also, improved access will be provided to PMJDY account holders to Micro-credit and micro investment such as flexi-recurring deposit, etc.

The enhanced are being looked at for extending the reach of this financial inclusion programme that has grown in size over the years with total PMJDY accounts standing at 43.04 crore as of August 18. Out of this, 36.86 crore (85.6 per cent) accounts with only 8.2 per cent PMJDY accounts being zero balance accounts.

The total deposit balances under PMJDY Accounts stand at Rs 1, 46, 230 crore. Deposits in these have increased about 6.38 times with an increase in accounts 2.4 times between August 2015 and August 21.

“The journey of PMJDY-led interventions undertaken over a short span of 7 years has in effect, produced both transformational as well as directional change thereby making the emerging FI ecosystem capable of delivering financial services to the last person of the society-the poorest of the poor. The underlying pillars of PMJDY, namely, Banking the Unbanked, Securing the Unsecured and Funding the Unfunded has made it possible to adopt multi-stakeholders’ collaborative approach while leveraging technology for serving the unserved and underserved areas as well, ” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on the seventh anniversary of PMJDY.

PMJDY, which is one of the biggest financial inclusion initiatives in the world, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on 15th August 2014. While launching the programme on 28th August, the Prime Minister had described the occasion as a festival to celebrate the liberation of the poor from a vicious cycle.

Going ahead the government is looking at further strengthening the scheme with new additions. “Endeavour is to ensure coverage of PMJDY account holders under micro insurance schemes. Eligible PMJDY accountholders will be sought to be covered under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (life cover) PMJJBY and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (accident insurance) PMSBY, ” a finance ministry statement said.

Jandhan provides an avenue to the poor for bringing their savings into the formal financial system, an avenue to remit money to their families in villages besides taking them out of the clutches of the usurious money lenders. PMJDY has brought the unbanked into the banking system, expanded the financial architecture of India and brought financial inclusion to almost every adult, the statement added.

As informed by banks, about 5 crore PMJDY accountholders receive direct benefit transfer (DBT) from the Government under various schemes.To ensure that the eligible beneficiaries receive their DBT in time, the finance ministry takes active role in identification of avoidable reasons for DBT failures in consultation with DBT Mission, NPCI, banks and various other Ministries. With close monitoring in this regard through regular VCs with banks and NPCI, the share of DBT failures due to avoidable reasons as a percentage of total DBT failures has decreased from 13.5 per cent (FY 19-20) to 5.7 per cent (FY 20-21), the finance ministry said.

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