Money & Banking

Covid relief spurs PMJDY accounts past 40-crore mark

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on August 03, 2020 Published on August 03, 2020

Issues of account dormancy and patchy last mile delivery, however, continue

In just six years, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) — which was launched in August 2014 to provide universal access to banking services for every household — has crossed the 40 crore accounts mark, official data showed.

This scheme, which was extended for another four years in 2018, has seen an increase of over 2 crore in number of PMJDY accounts opened from a January 2020 level of 37.87 crore accounts, largely spurred by the over ₹30,000-crore Covid-19 incentive provided by the government since the nationwide lockdown announced in March this year.

“Another milestone achieved under world’s largest financial inclusion initiative, PMJDY: Total accounts opened under the scheme crosses 40 Cr. mark. Committed to take financial inclusion to the last mile!”, the Department of Financial Services tweeted on Monday.

Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya, CO-Founder & CEO, ekgaon group, told BusinessLine that the spurt in 2-crore new PMJDY accounts can only be attributed to the return of over 80 million migrants back to villages post Covid-19 crisis.

“Devoid of wage earning, the working class went for any sort of support that was available and accessible, since government directed cash deposits to women at ₹500 per month for three months, and for farmers PM-Kisan (pending amount release), opening Jan Dhan Yojana account was a necessity,” he said.

However, it also needs to be noted that as on January 2020, number of PMJDY accounts opened stood at 37.87 crore, or 81.3 per cent were operative, Aditya said.

In a survey by Indus Action in April-May 2020 (reported on IndiaSpend), it was found that 40 per cent of PMJDY account holders were not able to access Covid relief benefits because of their inactive accounts.

This is the case even after the Department of Financial Services notified to make functional the inoperative PMJDY accounts due to various reasons such as non-compliance with KYC (know your customer).

Seema Prem, Co-Founder & CEO, FIA Technologies, said that generous Covid relief package to women beneficiaries and publicity around that ensured a spurt in PMJDY enrolments. “It is encouraging to see the hitherto financially excluded in Arunachal Pradesh, tribal belts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra open accounts and avail these measures,” she said.

STATE-WISE DATA

Meanwhile, the latest State-wise account opening report as on July 27 this year — published on PMJDY website — showed that Uttar Pradesh accounted for maximum number of Jan Dhan accounts (at 6.69 crore) and deposits of ₹23,287.36 crore.

This was followed by Bihar at 4.63 crore accounts with deposits of ₹13,447.46 crore. West Bengal came next with number of PMJDY accounts at 3.84 crore and deposits of ₹13,028.40 crore.

All the 40.05 crore PMJDY accounts put together had balances of ₹1,30,547.55 crore as of July 22.

As for bank-wise position, public sector banks — which did the heavy lifting — have opened 31.77 crore accounts and had balances of ₹1,01,021.73 crore. State Bank of India was the top performer with 12.5 crore PMJDY accounts with deposits of ₹33,676.29 crore.

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Published on August 03, 2020
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