Only one out of five Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts is inoperative as against one in four accounts, five years back. Also, deposit per account has gone up by over 71 per cent during the same period, while 56 per cent of the account holders are women.

On Sunday, PMJDY completed eight years of its implementation. Also known as the National Mission for Financial Inclusion, the scheme aims at providing a basic savings bank account to the unbanked population with various banking services including a RuPay card.

“The underlying pillars of PMJDY — banking the unbanked, securing the unsecured and funding the unfunded has made it possible to adopt multi-stakeholders collaborative approach while leveraging technology for serving the unserved and underserved areas,” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a statement.

As on date, there are over 46 crore bank accounts having a deposit balance of ₹1.74-lakh crore with its expanded coverage to 67 per cent rural or semi-urban areas. In August 2022, out of total of 46.25 crore PMJDY accounts, about 37.57 crore or 81.2 per cent are operative, as against 23.15 crore accounts or 76 per cent in August 2017.

As per extant RBI guidelines, a PMJDY account is treated as inoperative if there are no customer-induced transactions in the account for over a period of two years. As on date, only 8.2 per cent of PMJDY accounts are zero balance accounts.

Deposits have increased 7.60 times with an increase in accounts by 2.58 times between August 2015 and August 2022. The average deposit per account is ₹3,761.

“Increase in the average deposit is another indication of increased usage of accounts and inculcation of saving habit among account holders,” the statement said.

Jan Dhan Darshak app

A special app shows there are just 143 villages not having banking touchpoints within 5 km while the number was over 11,000 in October 2019. Over eight lakh banking touchpoints have been mapped on the geographic information system (GIS) app.

It is also being used for identifying villages that are not served by banking touchpoints within 5 km. These identified villages are then allocated to various banks by concerned State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) for the opening of banking outlets.

With the issue of over 31.94 crore RuPay debit cards under PMJDY, the installation of 61.69 lakh PoS/mPoS machines as on June 2022 and the introduction of mobile-based payment systems like UPI, the total number of digital transactions has gone up from 978 crore in FY2016-17 to 7,195 crore in FY2021-22.

Need for a policy-led intervention

Sitharaman concluded her message by saying that the Financial Inclusion Mission needs policy-led intervention based on an architecture linked to suitable financial products, information and communication technologies and data infrastructure.

“The country has adopted this strategy since the launch of PMJDY to optimise the intended benefits of the scheme for the people of the country,” she said.

The government intends to ensure coverage of PMJDY account holders under micro insurance schemes. Eligible account holders will be sought to be covered under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) for life insurance and the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) for general insurance. The effort is also to improve access to micro-credit and micro-investment plans such as flexi-recurring deposits, etc.