Jan Dhan Yojana: Delay in issuing RuPay cards may block benefits

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on October 06, 2014

Banks in a tizzy over shortage of cards, duplication of accounts

After the initial euphoria over Jan Dhan Yojana, operational difficulties are casting clouds over the execution of the ambitious financial inclusion scheme.

The most serious concern for the government is delay in issuing the RuPay cards by banks after opening of the accounts, apart from significant duplication of the accounts.

“These are the issues which have been observed by us nationally. Proper data on the issue of RuPay cards should also be maintained,’’ N Srinivasa Rao, Director, Ministry of Finance, said at a bankers’ meeting here last week.

According to the Ministry, 5.29 crore bank accounts were opened as on October 2, 2014 and 1.78 crore RuPay cards have been issued. It had also asked all banks to set up exclusive grievance cells to provide service to the account holders.

Without the issue of Rupay cards, the assured benefits such as RuPay card offers and personal accident insurance and permanent disability of ₹1 lakh cannot be extended to the accountholders.

Supply constraints

When contacted, M Anjaneya Prasad, Executive Director, Syndicate Bank, said that a major reason for the delay in issuing RuPay cards was supply constraint.

“As every bank is opening new accounts, there is lot of demand for the cards which have to be issued by the National Payments Corporation of India. The supply needs to be augmented as about 10 crore cards have to be issued by 2015 for the new accounts holders,” he said.

According to senior executive of Canara Bank, there is also need to work out the cost aspects of the cards. As of now, ₹1 is being charged for the card, which is borne by banks.

The total number of banks issuing RuPay cards is now more than 250 and the card base as on April 30 is over 17 million and is growing at a rate of about 3 million a month.

“This will go up significantly, thanks to the new scheme,” he said.

Duplication of accounts

Another issue for banks is duplication of accounts as many no frills accounts were already opened under financial inclusion drive so far.

Banks are hoping to deal with the issue with seeding of all accounts to one Aadhar number so that all could be linked.

It remains to be seen how the knotty issues are dealt with in the days to come.

Published on October 06, 2014

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