Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 28 launched his government’s mega scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’, an ambitious scheme for comprehensive financial inclusion. According to Prime Minister, in a country where 40 per cent of the population does not have access to banking services, this programme would mark the beginning of the end of “financial untouchability” and rid the country of poverty. The scheme has been started with a target to provide ‘universal access to banking facilities’. On the inaugural day, a record 1.5 crore bank accounts were opened across the country, the largest such exercise on a single day possibly anywhere in the world. Currently, around 41% of the population is unbanked, of which 33% are in urban areas and 46% in rural. Salient points of Prime Minister?s ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana are given below:1. About 15 million accident insurance policies done on a single day and same number of bank accounts opened.2. Programme held at around 77,000 locations.3. Target to cover 7.5 crore households with at least one account will be achieved by Jan 26, 2015.4. Coverage of all households with at least one basic banking account.5. Account holders will be provided zero-balance bank account with RuPay debit card, in addition to inbuilt accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh.6. Additional Rs.30,000 free life assurance cover for those opening bank accounts before Jan 26, 2015.7. Holders can avail overdraft of Rs 5,000 subject to satisfactory operations of the account for six months.8. Universal access to banking facilities for all households through a bank branch or a fixed point business correspondent called “BankMitra”.9. Financial literacy to be imparted up to village level.10. Under the Jan Dhan Yojana, all benefits from the Centre/states/local bodies are proposed to be transferred to the accounts of beneficiaries.11. Platform has been built by the National Payment Corporation of India that connects all banks and all telephone networks in the country. With the introduction of new technology introduced by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a person can transfer funds, check balance through a normal phone.12. Mobile banking for the poor would be available through National Unified USSD Platform (NUUP) for which all banks and mobile companies have come together.13. The second phase of rollout will involve providing micro-insurance to people and schemes like ‘Swavalamban’.14. Households being targeted instead of only being villages targeted earlier.15. For the entire exercise, the existing banking network will be strengthened – it will rope in an additional 50,000 business correspondents and set up about 7,000 branches and 20,000 new automated teller machines, in the first phase.16. PMJDY also aimed at eliminating corruption as it would facilitate routing of subsidies directly into the accounts of intended beneficiaries.17. Presently, one account is being opened for one adult of each household and by 2018, the mandate is to make it two per household, with the compulsory inclusion of the lady of the house.18. The government would institute a credit guarantee fund post-August 2015.
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