Jan Dhan makes it to Guinness World Records

11.5 crore bank a/cs opened against target of 10 crore
Last Updated 20 January 2015, 19:29 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojana on Tuesday secured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest financial inclusion initiative achieved in the quickest possible time.

At least 11.5 crore new bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana so far, as against the target of 10 crore by January 26, 2015.

“Most of India is included in the banking system today,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said addressing reporters at a press conference meant for listing out the government’s achievement on the most ambitious financial inclusion plan of all time.

Big challenge

The scheme was launched on August 28, 2014, and at that time, the government had given banks the deadline of January 26, 2015, to open 10 crore accounts.

However, banks achieved the target set by the government a month before the January 26 deadline with Rs 9,000 crore already deposited in Jan Dhan accounts.

The government will now take a view on the expansion of the scheme on January 26. Jaitley said that the challenge now is to cover the miniscule number of the country’s population which could not be covered till now.

He said that most of them live in inaccessible areas, apart from those residing in areas dominated by left-wing extremism.

Finance Minister Jaitley said that the government is also taking a serious view of how to include each individual in the scheme so as to provide 100 per cent financial inclusion in the country.

“This is the first step towards making the country a cashless society,” Jaitley said, praising the initiative as an “unprecedented” one.

Jaitley said that RuPay cards have been issued to more than 10 crore beneficiaries who will each get a personal accidental insurance of Rs 1 lakh, besides a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000.

Exclusion of a large number of people from the banking network was inhibiting growth, he said, describing the scheme as “a game changer for the Indian economy”.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhiya said that 99.74 per cent households in the country have been covered by the Jan Dhan Yojana.

Public sector banks alone opened 9.06 crore accounts, followed by regional rural banks which opened about 2 crore accounts. 13 private sector banks together opened just 36 lakh accounts.
Highlights of PMJDY 21.8 per cent households surveyed

At least one account for every household in urban and rural areas with RuPay debit card

Out of 11.5 crore accounts opened, 60 per cent hails from the rural areas, while 40 per cent is found in the urban areas

Share of female account holders is about 51 per cent More than Rs 33,000 crore towards MGNREGA, LPG and other benefits will be routed through the bank accounts annually.  

(Published 20 January 2015, 19:29 IST)

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