India’s financial inclusion program, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), achieved a significant milestone as the number of bank accounts under the scheme crossed 500 million in August. The scheme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate financial inclusion, completed nine years of operation on August 28, 2023.
Vivek Joshi, the Secretary-Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance, shared that as of August 16, the total number of PMJDY accounts had reached 500 million. This is a substantial increase from the 147.2 million accounts recorded at the end of March 2015. By the end of March 2023, the total number of PMJDY accounts had grown to 486.5 million.
The cumulative deposits in these accounts amounted to ₹2.03 trillion as of August 16, a significant rise from ₹15,670 crore in March 2015. Similarly, the average deposit in Jan Dhan accounts increased from ₹1,065 in March 2015 to ₹4,063 in August 2023.
In addition, the number of Rupay debit cards issued for PMJDY accounts increased from 131.5 million at the end of March 2015 to 339.8 million as of August 16.
The PMJDY program aims to provide basic banking facilities to underprivileged individuals, aligning with the government’s mission of achieving financial inclusion. Data from the Ministry of Finance indicates that 56% of the total Jan Dhan accounts belong to women, and 67% of the accounts were opened in rural or semi-urban areas.
The Ministry of Finance highlighted the success of the PMJDY scheme in transforming the financial landscape of the country and achieving near saturation in bank accounts for adults. The scheme has utilized technology, collaboration, and innovation to connect the last mile with the formal banking system.
As part of the PMJDY initiative, over 6.01 lakh villages have been mapped on the Jan Dhan Darshak mobile application, which provides a platform for locating banking touchpoints such as branches and ATMs. Additionally, around 6.02 crore PMJDY account holders are receiving direct benefit transfers from the government under various schemes.
Launched on August 28, 2014, the PMJDY program offers various benefits to account holders, including a bank account without a minimum balance requirement, free RuPay debit cards with accident insurance, and overdraft facilities. The scheme has laid the foundation for people-centric economic initiatives and has played a crucial role in numerous government initiatives such as direct benefit transfers and Covid-19 financial assistance.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has achieved remarkable success in promoting financial inclusion and establishing a robust banking network accessible to a vast number of individuals across India.