Government’s financial inclusion mission seems to be a great success in terms of number of accounts opened and persons linked with banks for financial services. Less than 3 months after its launch, financial inclusion mission under PM’s Jan Dhan Yojna completed its target of opening 75 million bank accounts well ahead of its stated deadline of January 26, 2015. Though an amount of Rs 5900 crores have been collected, 75% of accounts have no money as they are zero balance account. By 15th Nov. 2014, only 58% of account holders could be provided Rupe card which entitle them a accident insurance cover of Rs 100000.
After opening of account with banks, account holders are not coming to banks and when Rupe cards are being sent by post, in many cases, they are coming back to banks. In fact basis intention of this financial inclusion campaign was availing banking facilities by people not having bank account but with around 75% accounts with zero balance, enjoying / availing financial services provided from banks by such account holders is not possible.
The purpose was not to add more dormant / inoperative accounts in banks. Mere opening of accounts may not serve any purpose as these new account holders need to be motivated to deposit a small amount of at least Rs 50 to 100 per month so that they are motivated to be linked with banking system to have some stake in banks and they feel like withdrawing / availing facilities provided by banks. Hence, such clause of minimum deposit per month in these accounts can be added to make these accounts operative. If overdraft facility to such card holders is extended between Rs 2000 to Rs 5000/-, it is likely that overdraft may become NPA.
While reviewing the scheme, it would be appropriate to add some conditions of minimum amount of deposit / withdrawal , amount per month so that these accounts are operational and not totally remain zero balance account for long otherwise the purpose would be defeated.
Author: B K Jain