Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana
The current Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi launched a lot of schemes on being elected but the most talked about is the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana or the Prime Minister's People Money Scheme. This scheme was launched by Prime Minister of India on 15 August 2014, on the eve of his first Independence Day speech at Red Fort. Under this scheme every family living in India would have a bank account.
The main objective of the Jan-Dhan Yojana is to provide universal accessibility to all the banking facilities like Banking/Savings and Deposit accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance and pension in an affordable manner. This facility is being provided so that each family has at least one bank account and all the government benefits can be channeled to the respective bank accounts. Also an effort is being made to reach out to the youth of this country to participate in this programme.
On the inauguration day of the scheme a total of 1.5 crore bank accounts were open. By September 2014, 3.02 crore bank accounts had been opened, among public sector banks SBI had opened up the largest number of banks of up to 30 lakh bank accounts. On November 6 it was reported that a total of 7 crore bank accounts have been opened with a deposit of Rs. 5000 crore. On 20 Jan 2015, the scheme entered the Guinness Book of world record for the scheme setting a new record for opening the most number of bank accounts in a week.
- Each family living in this country is entitled to a “zero-balance” bank account and to open this account no fee will be charged.
- The holders of the bank account will be given a RuPay debit card, the holders of the card will be given an accident insurance cover of up to 1 lakh rupees.
- If the account holder keeps the bank account active for some time then he/she will be granted an overdraft by the bank of up to Rs. 5000.
- A life insurance cover of Rs. 30, 000 will be given to those who open up their account before 26 Jan 2015.
- This scheme is different than earlier schemes because there is no criteria for applying.
- The biggest disadvantage of this scheme is that there is a lot of waste of resources at a time when the Indian economy is already laggard.
- It is a risky scheme from India's economic and government point of view as no premium is asked for and in response an accident insurance cover of up to Rs. 1, 00, 000 is given.
- Some critics go as far as to say that this is just Prime Ministers'way to please the population and this scheme is not economically helpful for the growth of the country.
A form is to be filled by those seeking to open an account under this scheme after which the following documents may be required:
- Voter identification card
- PAN card
- Ration card along with a photo proof
- Aadhar card or valid ID proof from any government organization along with a passport size photo
The Author feels that this is a social step by Prime Minister Mr. Modi rather than an economical one which may to a certain extent try to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor; but it might be too ambitious at a time where our country's economy is dangling by a thread. Furthermore I think this is a step taken with a particular vision in mind to modernize the nation and lift the country as a whole by removing as “financial untouchability” (as mentioned in Prime Minister's Speech) from the roots of the country. I feel while moving forward with this vision one should not forget the actual economic status of the nation and that the Jan-Dhan Yojana can negatively affect the position of the public finance in India.
Author: Satyajay Jethwa