PMJDY enters Guinness Book of World Records
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has scaled new heights in 2015, the financial inclusion scheme which is the pet project of India’s PM Shri Narendra Modi has managed to enroll more than 75 million households in India who were previously outside the banking system. Rupay Debit Cards have also been issued to more than 100 milllion bank account holders.
The new bank accounts opened under PMJDY have mobilized US$ 1.5 Billion (Rs 9200 Crore Approximately) in fresh deposits.
These households have collectively opened more than 115 million bank accounts as of 17th January 2015. The PMJDY has now been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the title holder for ” Most Bank Accounts Opened in a Single Week ” record which was achieved during the period of August 23rd to August 29th , 2015 when 18 Million new bank accounts were opened. This unique achievement has been recorded in the name of “The Department of Financial Services, Government of India”.
Inactive Bank Accounts under PMJDY
While a record number of bank accounts have been opened , critics have claimed that a large number of them remain inoperative. According to official surveys and estimates provided by the Ministry of Finance:
- Only 28% of the newly opened accounts are active while the remaining continue to remain dormant without any transactions or deposits taking place.
- About 65% of the new bank accounts opened by Private Banks have a zero balance.
- While 71% of the bank accounts opened by Public Sector Banks have a nil balance.
- The State Bank of India SBI has the largest number of bank accounts with zero balance at 95%.
PMJDY – Gas Subsidy Scheme and Aadhar Linkages
In a bid to keep these newly opened bank accounts active and provide incentives to account holders, the government is planning large scale Direct Benefit Transfers which involve transferring the subsidies given by the government directly to the people’s bank accounts. Those who have linked their PMJDY bank account to their Adhaar Unique Identification Number and have enrolled with the GAS Distribution Agencies have started receiving subsidies since last year.
Until Nov 2014, the LPG Direct Benefit Scheme called PAHAL saw the transfer of more than US$ 300 million (Rs 1800 Crore) in subsidies meant for the purchase of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). Some experts believe that in 2015, more than US$ 5 Billion ( Rs 33,000 Crore) in subsidies could accrue to these 115 million bank accounts opened under PMJDY.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) itself will see about US$ 2.3 Billion (Rs 15,000 Crore) flow into the bank accounts of beneficiaries who mostly live in the rural areas of India.
The Government of India annually spends US$ 400 Billion (Rs 2,50,000 Crore) which is equivalent to 2% of it’s GDP on food, oil and fertilizer subsidies which are aimed at ameliorating the living conditions of the lower income groups.
Commision for Banks under PMJDY
To encourage banking officials to keep these accounts active, the Finance Ministry plans to introduce commissions which will accrue to different banks and their employees depending on the level of activity witnessed in these new accounts.
The parameters on the basis of which incentives will be given are being finalized and it could be on the basis on number of camps conducted, number of accounts opened and household surveys done.