Sitharaman describes Jan Dhan scheme as major step in financial inclusion

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman described the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) as a major step towards financial inclusion, informing that the programme’s success can be gauged from the fact that 46 crore bank accounts with a deposit balance of Rs 1.74 lakh crore have been opened under it in the last eight years.

In a statement issued on the occasion of the completion of eight years of the scheme on Sunday, the Finance Minister said that the PMJDY has an expanded coverage of 67 per cent in rural or semi-urban areas.

At the same time, it has 56 per cent of women as account holders, the Finance Minister added.

The scheme had come under implementation on August 28, 2014.

“Continuation of the scheme beyond 2018 saw a marked shift in appro ach to meet challenges and requirements of emerging financial inclusion landscape in the country. There has been a shift in focus from ‘every household’ to ‘every adult’, with added emphasis on usage of accounts by enhancing Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) flows through these accounts, promoting digital payments through the use of RuPay cards, etc,” Sitharaman was quoted as saying in the statement.

The Finance Minister further said that the Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile pipeline has enabled instant direct benefit transfer (DBT) under various government welfare schemes to the eligible beneficiaries.

“The advantage of the architecture created under financial inclusion ecosystem came handy during the Covid-19 pandemic when it facilitated direct income support to farmers under PM-KISAN and transfer of ex-gratia payment to women Jan Dhan account holders under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package in a seamless and time-bound manner,” she added.

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