The contribution of private sector banks to opening accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has been dismal.
Private lenders have opened only 3.24 million accounts under PMJDY, which is only three per cent of the total accounts opened under the ambition financial inclusion plan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Private banks account for a total of 21.15 per cent in terms of advances in the overall banking system.
In the same time period, pubic sector banks have opened 87.46 million accounts and regional rural banks have opened 19.4 million accounts.
"We have been opening accounts, but the number is definitely lesser than that of public sector banks because they have been given a specific target to achieve. That is why they have been more aggressive compared to private sector banks," said the retail head of a private lender, who did not wish to be named.
Among private lenders, HDFC Bank has opened the highest number of accounts under Jan Dhan, 780,000, followed by ICICI Bank, which has opened 660,000 accounts.
The least number has been opened by YES Bank, at 6,959.
"PSBs (public sector banks) have a better network reach in un-banked areas compared to most private banks and, therefore, they have managed to open more number of accounts," said an executive with another private bank.
The government's target was to open 100 million accounts under Jan Dhan by January 26. However, banks managed to achieve the target about a month before the deadline.
To deepen financial inclusion and achieve 100 per cent coverage of households, the finance ministry has said it will get into an "open challenge mode" for opening accounts under the scheme.
Under this, anyone who has no bank account can approach a bank and one will be opened immediately.
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