As many as 86 per cent of the accounts opened under the central government’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) are functional. In absolute terms, as of January 27, 2021, as many as 417.5 million accounts have been opened under PMJDY, of which 359.6 million accounts are functioning, according to a written statement given by Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State (MoS) in Ministry of Finance, to the Loksabha.
Data shows, while the public sector banks have opened 404.8 million bank accounts under the PMJDY scheme, only 12.7 million bank accounts were opened by 14 private sector banks. The deposit balance in all these accounts totaled to Rs 1.37 trillion. Also, around 307 million RuPay cards have been issued to these accounts so far, indicating a widening of gap between the number of accounts opened under the scheme and the number of cards issued to these accounts.
In its annual progress report on banking, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had pointed to the fact that usage of these accounts remains a concern, with lackluster growth in the average balance of these accounts.
The PMJDY scheme of the central government, launched in 2014, initially envisioned to provide banking facilities for every household in the country but later on it was changed to every unbanked person in the country. Accounts opened under this scheme are basic savings bank deposit account and banks are required to offer banking facilities to these account holders free of charge. RuPay cards are also provided to these accounts which comes with an inbuilt accidental insurance of upto Rs 200,000 coverage. RuPay, operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is India’s homegrown card network. It competes against global peers such as Visa and Mastercard in the Indian market. RuPay’s market share has increased to more than 60 per cent of total cards issued, from merely 17-per cent market share in 2017, and much of it is due to the fact that large number of cards are issued to accounts opened under PMJDY scheme.
Interestingly, savings account including accounts opened under PMJDY have increased from 977.7 million as of March 2014 to 1643.2 million at the end of March 2019, indicative of the fact that this scheme of the central government has increased banking penetration and promote financial inclusion across the country. Also, accounts opened for female customers totaled to 231.22 million while that for male customers is 186.22 million.
“About 80 per cent of the total operative accounts under PMJDY have been seeded with Aadhar and eligible accounts are getting direct benefit transfer (DBT) in their accounts” said the minister in his written response to another query on PMJDY accounts in the Loksabha.