13 September, 2017
India reached closer to achieving the goal of financial inclusion with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday saying that 30 crore bank accounts have been opened under Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana in the past two-and-a-half years.
"I think the third criteria is very consciously inserted because that is the principle objective for which this was meant to be used and that is where this interplay of over a billion Aadhaar number over a billion bank accounts and mobile phones itself has an important role", he said.
Jaitley said the UPA government had not realised the full potential of Aadhaar when it was introduced. "While there was a draft law related to management, the use of it was not clear", Jaitley said while delivering the keynote address at the Conclave on Financial Inclusion organised by the United Nations in India.
The Finance Minister said Aadhaar was an evolving idea under the previous UPA regime and it did not have legislative backing.
The Finance Minister talked about the success of financial inclusion scheme and said that Rupay card linked to these accounts, Rs 5000 overdraft limit and 2 key insurance schemes incentivized the PMJDY. "In 2014 when we launched the PMJDY, in a mission mode throughout the country with the help of banks, 44 per cent of Indian households were outside the banking system", he said.
"In September 2014, three months after the scheme was launched, 76.81 per cent accounts had zero balance".
"We have strong schemes at the central and state level ensuring money goes directly into bank accounts", he said, noting that in the last three years 77% of zero balance accounts have come down to 20%.
Total enrolment was 3.6 crore under the PMJJBY and 10.96 crore under PMSBY with 40 per cent of the policy holders being women in both the schemes.
He said, "The more the direct benefits expands, the more of these bank accounts functionality will take place".