The cash transfers to the Prandhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts during the last two months resulted in regular withdrawals of over ₹2000 crore by the beneficiaries per week.
An analysis of eights weeks’ data of shifts in the total balance of PMJDY accounts during April-May 2020 reveal the fact that beneficiaries withdrew the cash on a regular basis to tide over lack of earnings during the Covid-19 induced lockdown period.
UP AND DOWN
The total balance of Jan Dhan accounts was ₹1,19,680 crore on April 1, 2020 before the cash transfers to the account-holders by the Central and some State governments commenced as part of the relief packages. But in the following eight weeks, it diverged in a regular pattern.
By Mid April, the balance went up to ₹1,33,564 crore and then decreased to ₹1.29 lakh crore by the end of the month. By May 13, it reached the peak at ₹1.36 lakh crore and again fell to ₹1.31 lakh crore by May 27.
It may be recalled that the Centre had announced a direct benefit transfer of ₹1,500 to each woman account-holder of PMJDY under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) in the last week of March. Some State governments too announced their own relief packages.
As per Finance Ministry data, ₹10,025 crore was credited to 20 crore women in April as first installment; this was also repeated in May as second tranche.
“Before the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown days (prior to April), there was not much movement in the total balance of Jan Dhan, but after April there have been regular withdrawals in line with DBT as part of relief package, as the data shows,’’ a senior SBI official told BusinessLine .
On an average, the pattern of withdrawal in the last months show that about ₹3000 crore-4000 crore was withdrawn by the beneficiaries per month while the toal balance surges by ₹11,445 crore.
“The data analysis shows two things. First, the relief package was well received by the beneficiaries and, second, the PMJDY has become an effective channel for delivery of relief,” said the executive director of a public sector bank.
Change in PMJDY Toal Balance during April-May