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PMJDY yet to make a mark in N-E

Zero coverage in East Jaintia Hills & South West Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya

New Delhi: The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) a nationwide scheme launched by the government for financial inclusion of every individual who does not have a bank account has not made desired progress in some of the North Eastern states including Meghalaya, official sources said.

The household coverage report available with the government showed that there are few states such as Manipur (78%), Nagaland (76%), Meghalaya (83%), Arunachal Pradesh (84%), Odisha (86%), Sikkim (89%) and Jammu & Kashmir (89%) which still have a large number of households without access to a bank account. In contrast several of the traditionally backward states such as Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have near universal coverage, the report said.

Surprisingly, in some of the districts such as Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills and South West Khasi Hills, there is zero coverage. Special attempts will be made to reach out to this population so that no one is left behind and banks are being asked to sensitize account holders about using the RuPay debit card within the first 45 days so that they are entitled to the insurance facility.

Banks had gone past the target of opening 10 crore Jan Dhan accounts and had managed to cover 98% of the households all over the country prompting the government to now launch a ‘challenge’ to find out if any family remained without access to basic banking facility, the sources said.

In recent weeks, there has also been a significant increase in the funds deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts with the corpus in the 10.36 crore accounts going past Rs 8,000 crore, according to data available with the Finance ministry.

In August 2014, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government launched an ambitious plan to provide all households with a bank account and had hoped to open 7.5 crore accounts by January. But the target was achieved much earlier and the government realized that all households were still not covered, prompting it to upscale the target, which has now been achieved.

The scheme will ensure financial access to everyone who was not able to get benefits of many other finance related government schemes. These financial services include banking/ savings & deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, pension which will be made available to all citizens in easy and affordable mode.

Under the PMJDY the entire individuals irrespective of their area (rural or urban) can get a bank account without depositing any amount if they fulfill other eligibility criteria. This scheme is very beneficial for the rural population where banking services and other financial institution are rarely available.

Under the Yojana anyone who is India citizen above age of 10 years and does not have a bank account, can open the account with zero balance. Account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitr) outlets, specially designed for the purpose of opening the accounts under this scheme.

The scheme also provides facility of accidental insurance cover up to rupees one lakh without any charge for the account holder. The account holders under the PMJDY will be given a RuPay debit card which can be used at all ATMs for cash withdrawal and at most of the retail outlets for making transaction for purchases.

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