Five years after its launch, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) scheme has almost achieved a total balance of ₹1-lakh crore.
According to the latest data, the total balance in these basic bank accounts stood at ₹99,752 crore with 35.50 crore beneficiaries.
Public sector banks have the lion’s share in total balance at ₹79,177 crore, followed by regional rural banks and private sector banks maintaining ₹17,648 crore and ₹2,926 crore, respectively.
The scheme focusses on rural areas with primacy given to women. Of the 35.50-crore account holders, those from rural and semi-urban regions were 21 crore. Female beneficiaries were 18.88 crore.
Total balance under the scheme, launched on August 15, 2014, grew faster in the last there years, which was boosted by demonetisation in November 2016. It gathered momentum last year and gained rapid pace in the last six months, leading to scepticism on the possible link between elections and spurt in balances.
For instance, in January 2018, the total balance was about ₹73,000 crore with 30.93 crore beneficiaries. In January, it reached ₹88,000 crore. By March, it touched ₹96,000 crore and now stands at ₹99,752 crore.
Apart from the election impact, which needs to be investigated, the advantages of the scheme, such as insurance cover and overdraft facility, must be drawing some to maintain a balance. The average balance in PMJDY accounts has also been going up.
Last year, the government had also launched Jan Dhan 2.0 to reach out to 10-12 crore unbanked individuals to bring them under the formal banking system.
There have been renewed campaigns by public sector banks during the last one year, which has led to the increase in total number of beneficiaries as well as balance maintained.