The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is one of the biggest financial inclusion schemes in the entire world. The scheme was launched in August 2014. The Ministry of Finance claimed an opening of over 4 crore bank accounts till September 2014. It is applicable to people between 10-65 years. In a country like India encompassing a population of over 133 crores, with close to 68% of the population living in poverty, a scheme of this nature is an absolute necessity.
The achievements made under Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana were also marked by the Guinness Book of World Records. A certificate stating that the “Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial Services, Government of India from 23rd to 29th August 2014.” was given. The then Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the “pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana is a game-changer for the economy as it has provided the platform for Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) which, in turn, will help in plugging leakages in subsidies and thereby provide savings to the exchequer.”
When the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched there was a huge buzz around it. Even now if anybody gets to know about this scheme, the first question on their mind is “ What is Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana?”, After all, aren’t we all curious about any scheme that claims to help us financially. The main aim of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is to provide affordable access to credit and savings facilities throughout the country. The Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana provides people with the opportunity to utilize financial services like insurance and pensions. The basic structure of the scheme is built around the fact that bank accounts opened under the pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana will not require any minimum balance. As a result of this many people from poor backgrounds all over India have come forward and enrolled themselves in the formal financial sector.
The Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana provides overdraft, insurance, and pension facilities to those enrolled under the scheme. It facilitates financial inclusion across demographics. The Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana aims at revolutionizing the way banking is done in the country and it aims to help the economically weaker sections of the society to become financially confident.
There are several Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojna features that have been listed by the government as its benefits.
● Zero Balance accounts under the Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana
The Jan Dhan Yojana account is a zero balance account. This means that account holders are not required to maintain a minimum balance in their accounts. This ensures that the targeted beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana are reached. But in case you want access to the cheque facility, then the maintenance of a minimum balance is compulsory.
● Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Loan Benefits
Individuals whose account under the Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojana completes 6 months are eligible to obtain loans of up to Rs.5000. Although the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana loan amount seems less it is quite substantial while looking at the target demographic. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is aimed at financial inclusion of the economically and socially weaker sections of society. The scheme targets people from rural areas as well as the unorganized sector in urban and semi-urban areas.
● Mobile Banking with Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana aims to make available certain basic financial transactions via ordinary mobile phones and not smartphones. This step is to ensure that people from rural areas and those from the unorganized sector have access to quick and convenient banking options.
● Insurance benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
The most significant benefit of pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana is that it brings a lot of underprivileged people under its purview of insurance. The scheme offers a life cover of Rs.30,000 to customers who comply with certain norms of the scheme and offers Rs.2,00,000 of insurance sum in the event of accidental death.
● Easy access to withdrawal facilities
Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, each family gets a RuPay debit card This ensures easy withdrawal of money from ATMs. This move will also help improve banking and connection facilities in rural areas.
● Overdraft facilities to scheme beneficiaries
An overdraft facility of Rs.5000 will be offered with the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan account. In case the overdraft availed is paid back promptly, the bank may increase this limit to Rs.15,000. The option to increase this limit is completely left to the bank’s discretion.
● Inclusion of farmers into the formal financial system
The debt trap is a problem faced by a majority of persons working in the unorganized sector of India. Although it has been recognized as an issue there has never been a major attempt to include these persons in the banking system. pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana might prove instrumental in reducing the dependency of farmers on local money lenders. Loan and overdraft facility linked with this account will allow farmers to avoid borrowing from small money lenders
● Interest on Deposits
Deposits made into the Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan accounts are eligible to earn interest at the rate declared. Interest rates will be similar to those offered by various public and private banks. This will ensure and help build the practice of savings amongst small-time workers and farmers. The rate of interest provided on the deposits is 4% per annum.
● Access to Pension Schemes
A person holding an account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana will have easy access to pension schemes available from the government. This is revolutionary for persons who could not have expected the same considering their line of work.
● Financial literacy under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, at the time of opening of the account customers, will be handed over a kit that includes account passbook, checkbook as well as a financial literacy guide. This guide will be helpful to the account owners in the long run too.
The pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana form can be downloaded off the official site. Most public sector undertakings participating in this mass scheme will also be able to guide people towards opening a Jan Dhan Yojana.
The Eligibility To Apply For the Scheme:
The following requirements are mandatory for any individual to open a Jan Dhan account.
● Only Indian Citizens can open their accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna.
● A person can visit open an account under this scheme by visiting any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitr) outlet.
● Even the minors who are above the age of 10 can easily open their savings accounts under this scheme at any bank outlet.
● The form to open your account is available in both English and Hindi. You can easily find at the official website of pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana (https://www.pmjdy.gov.in/scheme).
Documents Required To Open A Jan Dhan Account:
There are a few documents that are mandatory to open an account. So make sure you have all these documents before you start applying for an account under this scheme.
● A Passport- It is usually not required during the normal account opening procedure but is mandatory for opening a Jan Dhan account.
● Permanent Account Number Card or PAN card is required as well.
● A job card issued by the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). However, the card must be signed by a state government officer first.
● Driving license
● Voter ID
● Any other documents that have been requested by the central government after consulting with the regulator must be submitted.
○ A photograph attested along with a letter from a Gazetted officer has to be submitted.
○ Any ID card issued by the State or Central Government, Scheduled Commercial Banks, Statutory or Regulatory Authorities, Public Financial Institutions, and Public Sector Undertakings is also to be submitted. However, the ID card should have a photo of the applicant attested along with it.
Performance of the Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Yojana:
According to the government data, pradhan mantri jan dhan yojana benefits 37.85 crore people and the beneficiaries have banked Rs. 111,753.72 crore balance in the beneficiary accounts so far. As of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna in 2019 around 36.25 crore accounts were opened under the scheme in which Rs 1,00,831 crore have been deposited. 53% of Jan Dhan account holders are women. 59% of Jan Dhan accounts are in rural and semi-urban areas. More than 83% operative Jan Dhan accounts are Aadhaar seeded, with approx 24.4 crore RuPay cards issued to these account holders. There have been 13.98 crore subscriptions under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) with 19,436 claims. 1.11 crore persons have subscribed to Atal Pension Yojana (APY).
This kind of inclusion under insurance and pension schemes would not be imaginable without the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.