Empowering lives through Pradhan Manthri Jan Dhan Yojana

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Nearly 1.65 lakh account holders out of the total 18 crore accounts opened under the government ambitious scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) have availed overdraft facility. The government announced that the focus of PMJDY has moved from account opening to the provision of cash-out facilities at an approachable distance to garner the real benefits of PMJDY.

The Finance Ministry said that one of the basic objectives of financial inclusion is the delivery of financial services. It is at an affordable cost to the vast sections of the disadvantaged and low income groups. To facilitate cash-out facility, there are nearly 1.26 lakh bank branches of which 38% is in rural areas. To achieve this objective, banks are not levying any SMS/Message charges on Prime Minister Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts and Basic Savings Bank Deposits (BSBD) Accounts.  The network of bank branches, ATMs, Bank Mitras (Business Correspondents) and enhancement of limit of cash withdrawal at POS will help the customers in meeting their cash withdrawal facility at an approachable distance.

In 2014-15, 8,227 branches and 21,197 ATMs were joined to the network. The government has recently doubled the limit for cash withdrawal at POS (for debit cards and open system prepaid cards issued by banks in India) to Rs 2,000 per day in Tier III to Tier VI centres. Over Rs 22,000 crore have been assembled under PMJDY and 15.74 crore Rupay debit cards have been issued.

Banks have been directed to spend overdraft facility up to Rs 5,000 under PMJDY and Aadhar number is not mandatory for availing this. In this regard, Indian Banks Association (IBA) has been asked to issue revised guidelines to all banks. Overdraft facility has been availed by 1.64 lakh account holders as on September 1, 2015. The achievement under PMJDY is heading towards saturation. Initial demand for bank accounts was expected to be around 7.5 crore. However, so far close to 18 crore accounts have been opened.

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