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MGNREGS & PMJDY: States show positive correlation for women beneficiaries

Share of women in total bank deposits rises to over 20% in FY23

MGNREGS

At present, about 55 per cent of total PMJDY beneficiaries are women, while the national average of women participation in MGNREGS was to the tune of 57.4 per cent

Shine Jacob Chennai

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Suggesting a positive correlation between the roles played by two key government schemes -- the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) -- in women empowerment, a report by State Bank of India indicated that in states where women participation in the rural job guarantee scheme is high, women beneficiaries of the PMJDY are also high.

At present about 55 per cent of total PMJDY beneficiaries are women, while the national average of women participation in MGNREGS is 57.4 per cent. The report stated that almost all major states have women participation of more than 33 per cent in MGNREGS. According to another government data, states like Kerala (89.82 per cent), Puducherry (87.48 per cent), Tamil Nadu (86.41 per cent), Goa (78.4 per cent), Rajasthan (68.17 per cent), and Punjab (66.55 per cent) are among the leading states in terms of women participation in MGNREGS. In PMJDY, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Kerala are among the top states in terms of women beneficiaries, according to the report.

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, and Odisha lagged in both categories.

“The objective of PMJDY is to ensure access to various financial services to the excluded sections -- weaker sections and low-income groups, particularly women. Currently, 55 per cent of total PMJDY beneficiaries are women. State-wise data of women beneficiaries when plotting against the MGNREGS women participation suggests that in southern states, both shares are more than the national average,” said the report, authored by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, SBI.

This report by SBI followed a report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which indicated that the share of women customers in total deposits increased to 20.5 per cent in the year ended March 2023, from 18 per cent in FY19. The share of women deposits in overall rural deposits also increased in the post-pandemic period to 30 per cent in FY23, from 25 per cent in FY19 (a pre-pandemic year). Of the overall individual deposits of Rs 94.7 trillion, around 39 per cent or Rs 37 trillion belonged to women. Total deposits by senior women citizens (age 60 and above) amounted to Rs 13.2 trillion, which represents 36 per cent of individual women deposits.

Of the incremental deposits between FY19 and FY23, women deposits accounted for 26 per cent at  the all-India level. This share is highest in case of rural areas, with women deposits accounting for 41 per cent of the incremental rural deposits during the same period.

Overall, the per capita women deposits increased by Rs 4,618 in the past five years. State-wise per capita change in women deposits showed that Goa, Karnataka, Haryana, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra witnessed more than Rs 10,000 change in the past five years.

The share of women in credit to individuals increased by 4.7 per cent in the past nine years (women's share in FY15 was 18.3 per cent). The data further shows that incremental credit of Rs 10.3 trillion was disbursed to 76 million new women customers during the period under review. Sector-wise data on credit to women customers indicated that credit increased in almost all major sectors, such as agriculture, industry (manufacturing), and trade during FY19-FY23. However, the share of women in the personal loans segment remained the same. Incrementally, the share of credit to women in total credit increased to 25.4 per cent during FY19-FY23, with agriculture, education, and trade contributing the most.

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First Published: Jul 31 2023 | 7:08 PM IST

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