The total balance in the basic bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has registered a record surge of ₹50,000 crore in the financial year ended March 31, 2023. 

The total balance at the end of FY23 stood at ₹1.99 lakh crore as against ₹1.49-lakh crore at the end of the previous financial year. There is also an addition of 5 crore new accounts under the scheme.

The total number of beneficiaries reached 48.65 crore by the end of the last fiscal compared to 45 crore in the previous financial year. The women beneficiaries were over 27 crore.

“This is the highest-ever increase in year-on-year basis in the total balances which is indicative of the increasing use of these accounts for a variety of purposes by the government as well as the beneficiaries,’‘ a senior SBI official said, adding that the bank was giving a priority to further expand the scope of the scheme.

Key drivers

The public sector banks are the key drivers for the scheme and have ₹1.55-lakh crore with them as deposits followed by Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) with ₹38,832 crore while the private sector banks got the remaining deposits.

An analysis of the last five year’s data reveals that almost a quarter of the present total balance had come in the year 2022-23.

“This is significant development and the growth must have been driven by a healthy rural economy which gained traction in the last financial year,’‘ said a senior analyst with a private ratings agency.

Accident cover

Under the Jan Dhan scheme, the RuPay card comes with an inbuilt accident insurance cover of ₹1 lakh, for up to 90 days after the cardholder carries out a successful financial or non-financial transaction at a merchant establishment, ATM or e-commerce platform.

The pace of issue of RuPay cards, however, appears to have slowed down as only 33 crore cards have been issued so far out of about 49 crore accounts holders. As per RBI data, about 8 per cent of PMJDY accounts have zero balance. The average balance is upwards of ₹2,400.