Financial inclusion is a major step towards inclusive growth that ensures comprehensive economic development for marginalized sections of society, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.

The success of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) since August 28, 2014 results in the opening of over 46 crore in bank accounts with a deposit balance of ₹1.74 lakh crore with its coverage extended to 67% of rural or semi-urban areas. as well as 56% of female Jan Dhan account holders, she said on the eighth anniversary of the flagship financial inclusion program.

“The continuation of PMJDY beyond 2018 has seen a marked shift in approach to meeting the challenges and demands of the emerging FI (financial inclusion) landscape in the country.

“There has been a shift in focus from ‘every household’ to ‘every adult’, with an added focus on the use of accounts by improving direct benefit transfer (DBT) flows through these accounts, promoting digital payments through the use of RuPay cards etc.,” the minister said citing an official statement.

The underlying pillars of PMJDY – namely, Finance the Unbanked, Secure the Unsecured, and Finance the Unfunded – enabled a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach while leveraging technology to also serve unserved areas and underserved, she observed.

The Jan Dhan Yojana, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in 2014, was launched on August 28 of the same year.

JAM Enabled Instant DBT

She also said that the JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) pipeline created through consent-based linking of bank accounts with Aadhar and account holders’ mobile numbers, which is one of the important pillars of the financial inclusion ecosystem, has activated instant DBT under various government social protection schemes to eligible beneficiaries.

The advantage of the architecture created under the FI ecosystem has proven useful during the COVID-19 pandemic when it has facilitated direct income support to farmers under PM-KISAN and the transfer Ex gratia payment to female PMJDY account holders under PM Garib Kalyan. on a time-limited basis, Ms. Sitharaman said.

On the occasion, the Minister of State for Finance, Bhagwat Karad, said that PMJDY was one of the most important financial inclusion initiatives not only in India but in the world.

Stressing that financial inclusion is one of the government’s top priorities, he said it offered the poor a way to bring their savings into the formal financial system, a way to get money back to their families, in addition to getting them out of the clutches. usurious lenders.

In accordance with current RBI guidelines, a PMJDY account is considered inoperative if there are no customer-induced transactions in the account for a period of two years.

Out of a total of 46.25 crore PMJDY accounts, 37.57 crore (81.2%) are operational according to the latest figure. Only 8.2% of PMJDY accounts are zero balance accounts, while the average deposit per account is ₹3,761.

Total RuPay cards issued to PMJDY account holders stood at 31.94 crore. The number of RuPay cards and their use have increased over time.

The Ministry of Finance, in the statement, said it was working to provide coverage for PMJDY account holders under micro-insurance schemes.

Eligible PMJDY account holders will be sought to be covered by Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY). Banks have already been informed of the same, he added.