Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (Prime Minister’s People Money Scheme) is a scheme for comprehensive financial inclusion launched by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on 28 August 2014. He had announced this scheme on his first Independence Day speech on 15 August 2014.
“Banks were nationalised in 1969 after weaving a lot of dreams before the country. We were told that this would benefit the poor. But I regret to say that in reality, even after 68 years of independence, not even 68 per cent of the population is covered by the banking system. This is also a form of untouchability,” said Modi.
This scheme Run by Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, on the inauguration day, 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened under this scheme. By 10 January 2015, 11.76 crore accounts were opened, with around INR8698 crore (US$1.4 billion) were deposited under the scheme, which also has an option for opening new bank accounts with zero balance.
The Jan Dhan Yojana provides for a free zero-balance bank account with a debit card, Rs 1 lakh accidental insurance policy and Rs 30,000 free medical insurance cover for those who enroll before January 26. Depending on the performance of the accounts in the first six months, banks will later extend a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility, thereby turning the debit card into a kind of credit card. In next phase, micro insurance & pension etc. will also be added.
The debit card is being issued by RuPay of the National Payments Corporation of India. Modi said a mammoth initiative like this would go a long way in granting global acceptance to the RuPay brand, in line with international retail credit giants like Visa and others.
Launching his government’s first big ticket social welfare programme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call for eradicating what he termed as “financial untouchability” of the poor by opening at least one bank account for every family in the country in less than six months.
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