The total deposits in the Jan Dhan accounts crossed Rs 1 lakh crore mark recently. This development can be seen in many contexts. The government deserves appreciation for carrying financial inclusion at this scale. The dream of banking to the unbanked is getting fulfilled. Nevertheless, the key takeaway from this particular milestone of Jan Dhan is that the poor of this country seem to have proved Prime Minister Narendra Modi right about the trust he had from the beginning of the scheme.
There was a fair amount of skepticism expressed in the beginning from certain quarters as they felt that this massive exercise of financial inclusion may end up burdening the banks as many of the accounts were expected to remain at zero balance. With ₹1,00,495.95 Crore deposited in 36.06 crore bank accounts as on July 12, 2019, poor of this country have proved the critics wrong.
Savings for the Poor
The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), launched on August 24, 2014. Soon in April 2015, speaking at the RBI conference on financial inclusion Prime Minister Narendra Modi had this to say,
“Jan Dhan has given us an opportunity to see the richness of poor as their deposits in the accounts going up. The bankers may have come across many instances of poverty of rich people who don’t pay back in due period. But here look at the greatness of poor who are depositing their hard-earned money in their bank accounts.”
Now, as the deposit in the Jan Dhan accounts passes ₹1 lakh crore mark, the poor of this country have proved PM Modi right in his assessment so conclusively.
Jan Dhan – The Richness of the Poor
What it means for Jan Dhan accounts to have more than Rs 1 lakh crore deposits? Here are some ways to understand it.
- Some of the budgetary allocations in this year’s budget Rs 94,854 crore for education, Rs 64,999 crore for health and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MNREGA) at Rs 60,000 crore allocation.
- In terms of growth, India’s own RuPay card has disrupted the global payment networks. Since more than 28.44 crore Jan Dhan account holders have been issued the Rupay debit cards, they share the credits of this accomplishment.
- Poor of this country have taken part in the women empowerment silently, as Over 50% of the Jan Dhan account holders are women.
- Similarly, they took part in the process of making India transparent and corruption-free as the Jan Dhan accounts facilitated Direct Benefit Transfer on a big scale.
- The percentage of actual zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts decreased from 58% in 2015 to merely 15% in January 2019.
- The average balance in the Jan Dhan bank accounts had increased from Rs 1,065 as on March 25, 2015, to nearly double at Rs 2,603 as on January 23 this year.
The budget this year has sought to build further on the momentum of Jan Dhan as it has said that every woman Self-Help Group (SHG) member having a verified Jan Dhan account will get an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000, and also Rs 1,00,000 loan for women in every SHG under the Mudra scheme.