PM Jan-Dhan Yojana: More than half account-holders are women
New Delhi: Three years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the PMJDY, a survey has found that more than half account-holders are women. A study by financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found that while women hold about 45 percent of the accounts opened under the Prime Ministers flagship Jan-Dhan Yojana, only about 8 percent of the banking agents in India are women. "We need more women agents if we are to sustainably offer services to women clients, especially in rural areas," the report said. According to the report, there is a 200 percent increase in volumes of "cash in, cash out" transactions from the banking agent points across India. It added that average daily transactions points had also increased by 140 percent from 13 in 2015 to 31 in 2017. Launching the "State of the Agent Network" report, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said that providing essential goods and services to citizens was only the first policy step towards financial inclusion. "One of the aims of the government policy is ensuring provision of essential goods and services. That is, of course, the first step to develop fiscal provision into something real and meaningful," Subramanian said. "You have gas cylinders but you need consistent gas off-take; you have bank accounts but you need to make genuine inclusion; your toilets are built, but are they used? I think thats the next stage we need to work on,” he said. He added that while India had made a lot of progress on the financial inclusion front, there was a big gap between opening accounts and actually achieving financial inclusion. The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet scheme, aims at bringing hitherto unbanked areas and people under a formal banking system. Bank accounts can be opened with a zero balance under the PMJDY. Alongside other facilities, PMJDY accounts also allow an overdraft facility of up to Rs 5,000 in one account per household, preferably held by a woman member. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had formally launched the PMJDY on August 28, 2014.