The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was unveiled by the respected Prime Minister as a significant move towards ensuring complete financial integration during his speech on Independence Day, 15th August 2014. This initiative aimed to provide every household in India with banking services, including at least one basic bank account, education about finances, and access to loans, insurance, and retirement plans. Those without existing bank accounts could establish one without needing a minimum balance, and if they lack necessary official documents, they could still open a small account. The goal was also to provide banking services to over 6 lakh villages, which were categorized into 1.59 lakh Sub Service Areas (SSAs), with Bank Mitras assisting in areas without bank branches.
Therefore, PMJDY enables those without bank accounts to engage with banking services and be educated on financial offerings. They’re also given a RuPay debit card, which comes with a Rs. 2 lakh accident insurance, and potential overdraft facilities after six months of good account activity. Furthermore, the Prime Minister introduced other insurance and pension schemes in May 2015, which these account holders could leverage.
This initiative was pioneering and ambitious. According to the 2011 Census, only about 59% of the country’s 24.67 crore households had banking access. PMJDY aimed to cover these households in its first year. By January 2015, 12.55 crore households were covered, and by March 2019, the number surged to 35.27 crore. This effort also ensured rural areas received banking facilities, with 60% of PMJDY accounts being in rural areas and over 53% of account holders being women.
As of 27th March 2019, PMJDY accounts had a deposit balance of Rs. 96,107 crores, with the average deposit per account rising from Rs. 1,064 in March 2015 to Rs. 2,725 in March 2019.
The network of Bank Mitras has also seen growth and increased activity. Their average transaction numbers, using the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System, skyrocketed from 52 transactions in 2014-15 to 4,291 transactions in 2016-17.