Jan Dhan Enables 22 Cr New Bank Accounts in 18 Months; Adds Rs 37,617 Cr to Indian Economy
As PM Modi led BJP Govt. completes two years today, one of the financial inclusion schemes initiated 18 months ago by this Govt. has received raving appreciation all over.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, launched in August, 2014 with an ambitious target of opening bank accounts for every Indian, has right now enabled opening of 22 crore new bank accounts pan-India or around 4 lakh new bank accounts were opened every day in the last 18 months.
With an average balance of Rs 1700, Jan Dhan scheme has actually poured in Rs 37,617 crore into the Indian economy! Since Independence of India, no financial inclusion scheme launched by Indian Govt. has been able to generate so much wealth for the country, and at the same time enabling so many new bank accounts.
The success of this ambitious plan was guessed right from day 1, as 1.5 crore new bank accounts were expected to be opened on the launch day.
In fact, the record of opening new bank accounts under Jan Dhan has even entered Guinness World Records for its massive numbers.
Guinness World Records Certificate says “The most bank accounts opened in 1 week as a part of financial inclusion campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by Banks in India from 23 to 29 August 2014”.
Within two months of its launch, Jan Dhan had enabled opening of 7 crore new bank accounts and Rs 5000 crore was deposited under it.
Challenges With Jan Dhan Scheme
As per International financial consultancy MicroSave, 33% of all Jan Dhan accounts are not primary bank account; which means that out of 22 crore bank account holders, around 7.2 crore already have another bank account.
Due to the offers promised under Jan Dhan (example Rs 5000 over-draft; insurance), it may be a possibility that existing bank a/c holders opened a new bank account. But still, it enabled fresh capital inflow into the banking system, which is a positive sign.
The other issue lies in dormant accounts and those accounts which have no balance. As per sources, 25-28% of all Jan Dhan accounts have zero balance as of January, 2016.
As per Charan Singh, the RBI Chair professor at IIM-Bangalore, several villagers and rural population wrongly feels that in case they don’t withdraw full amount from their new Jan Dhan account, the money would be taken back by the Government (when it comes to social welfare schemes)
Such confusion and lack of knowledge can be the reason for these 25% dormant and empty bank accounts.
As per analysts, Government has made a tremendous start for financial inclusion; and the data and massive numbers generated till now should be analysed, measured based on the actual needs of the poor and the needy, the planning should be changed/modified for maximum social benefits.
One of the biggest positive impact of Jan Dhan has been massive reduction in corruption, when it came to social welfare schemes, which middle-men used to cut in the past.