As PM Modi marks 7-year anniversary of Jan Dhan Yojana, here’s all you need to know about the financial inclusion program

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took to Twitter marking the seventh anniversary of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The financial inclusion program has reached out to countless individuals from the poorer stratas of society, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that there are now 36.86 crore bank accounts that are operative under the programme. A total of 43.04 crore have been opened.

“I would like to applaud the untiring efforts of all those who have worked to make PM Jan Dhan a success. Their efforts have ensured the people of India lead a better quality of life.” Modi tweeted.

It has ensured financial inclusion and a life of dignity as well as empowerment for countless Indians, Modi said, adding that the initiative has also boosted transparency. He added that the initiative had “forever transformed India’s development trajectory”.

Simply put, the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is a national mission to ensure that all individuals have easy and affordable access to financial services such as banking, savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pension. Announced in 2014 by Prime Minister Modi during his independence address, he had dubbed it the liberation of the poor from a vicious cycle. Of the total number of accounts opened under the scheme over the last seven years, 23.87 crores are women and 28.70 crore accounts are in rural and semi-urban areas.

From direct benefit transfers and COVID-19 financial assistance to life and health insurance cover, the PMJDY is the first step to numerous facilities and support initiatives. Over the years the PMJDY has adopted several important features including the option of opening online accounts, inter-operability through RuPay debit card or Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS); fixed-point Business Correspondents and simplified KYC/e-KYC.

The basic tenets of the scheme include opening of basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account with minimal paperwork, relaxed KYC, e-KYC, account opening in camp mode, zero balance and zero charges; issuance of Indigenous Debit cards for cash withdrawals and payments at merchant locations, with free accident insurance coverage of Rs 2 lakh and funding the unfunded through other financial products like micro-insurance, overdraft for consumption, micro-pension and micro-credit.