THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 16 MAY 2019 (The Jan Dhan Yojana is gathering steam (The Hindu))

The Jan Dhan Yojana is gathering steam (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Jan Dhan Yojana
Mains level: Signifiance of the Jan Dhan Yojana

Context

  • The NDA’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) seems to be delivering well on its financial inclusion objectives without placing undue burden on bank bottomlines.
  • The aggregate deposits in the PMJDY accounts are currently nudging ₹1 lakh crore, having grown ten-fold from the ₹10,500 crore in the first phase of the scheme in January 2015.
  • After witnessing a sharp spike and then a moderation in the three months immediately following the note ban in 2016, deposit flows into JDY has settled down to a brisk 25 per cent growth rate in the last two financial years.
  • Though they still make up less than 1 per cent of banks’ deposit base, their sustained growth in a year when deposit flows were hard to come by, has helped shore up banks’ CASA (Current Account Savings Accounts) balances.

Success of PMJDY

  • The PMJDY has delivered financial inclusion on three counts.
  • One, it has contributed to financialisation of savings by giving lower income households access to a safe investment product.
  • Two, with 13.5 crore beneficiaries enrolling for the low-cost accident insurance cover and 5.5 crore for the life cover, the account is giving disadvantaged folks a look-in to other financial products.
  • Three, with 27.7 crore account holders now armed with Rupay debit cards, their transition to electronic payments has gotten a leg-up too. But now that JDY deposit flows are shoring up banks’ CASA, the Centre must nudge them to offer much-needed loan products to these account holders.
  • Allowing them to build up a credit and transaction history in the banking system is critical to wean them away from the grip of usurious money lenders who extract a heavy price on their finances when emergencies strike.
  • Using a dashboard approach to track the value and number of overdrafts sanctioned on the PMJDY portal would be a good way to achieve this.
  • The Centre and the RBI also need to make sure that these first-time adopters are treated well at bank branches, know the grievance redressal mechanisms and are aware of, and protected from, the consequences of fraud or misuse of their accounts.

Conclusion

  • The sharp spike in the JDY account balances during the note ban months was a red flag on this score.
  • Rather than persisting with account opening or deposit targets for banks on JDY, regulators must now ratchet up their education efforts to make sure that JDY holders are aware of their rights and don’t fall prey to benami holders or money-launderers seeking to exploit their banking access.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Which of the following subjects comes under the State List of Schedule VII under the Indian Constitution?
(a) Railways
(b) Education
(c) Public health
(d) Marriage and divorce

Ans: C
Mains Questions:

Q.1) Describe the importance of PMJDY on financial inclusion.

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