US Paliwal, executive director, RBI and in charge of financial inclusion was in Goa last week for a Town Hall meeting in the capital. In a brief interview he gives the central bank perspective on Jan Dhan progress.
Q: How do you assess the Jan Dhan progress?
Well Jan Dhan is a success. It is accomplished what it set out to achieve. Whosoever is identified without a bank account I should say that at least 99 per cent of them have become account holders. Nearly 13 crore new accounts have been opened throughout the country and each day the numbers are increasing. More people are coming into the banking fold. The Rupay cards however have not been issued to all account holders because of short supply. All account holders have to have the Rupay ATM card and banks are heading towards it.
What next after financial inclusion?
There is lot of work remaining still. Financial inclusion has to be universal and so the coverage will continue to be extended. Secondly people have to start making the operation and the account must be used. Opening account is the first step but subsequent steps are seeding wherein bank account gets linked to the gas supplier or to subsidizing agency. DTB transfer is taking place in many states has to start for accounts to gety bit of money inro them. , account holders will have to be encourage to use their account, Rupay card is to be activated.
Is the scheme resulting in additional money into the system?
It is already doing so. About Rs 15,000 crore of additional deposits is increased. It means that money which was saved in homes and idles in the economy is into the system. The money will earn interest and benefit people. It will inculcate savings habit and we expect bank deposits to go up.
Which segments will the scheme really help? For the maids, drivers and variety of migrant workers Jan Dhan is the best way to remit funds. It gives ease of transfer, safety, efficiency and at very low cost. The unorganized system of transmitting money through friends or other ways is risky and will stop once everybody has a bank account.
Jan Dhan Yojana Fact Sheet
A 2013 survey revealed that less than 400 million Indians out of a population of 1.252 billion million had bank accounts.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched by the Prime Minister in August 28 2014.
By January 2015 about 12.5 crore bank accounts were open under the scheme and till date (March 31 2015) the number is increased to 14.7 crore accounts.
All India the scheme is showing progress as share of zero accounts is down to 50 per cent from 62 per cent in January 2015.
Goa’s progress is better than other states as zero account are 38 per cent.