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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

PM Modi's financial inclusion drive set for 'shock and awe' launch

Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 26, 2014
First Published: 23:52 IST(26/8/2014) | Last Updated: 10:41 IST(27/8/2014)

The official launch of the revamped financial inclusion programme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be a glitzy affair. And everybody in the government from bank officials to senior officials and ministers is gearing up for the occasion.

Modi will kick off the programme in New Delhi, but there would be 600 simultaneous functions across the country.

Moreover, all public sector banks will conduct bank "camps" - as many as 60,000 of them - from 8am to 8pm, and invite people who do not have bank accounts to come and open accounts. The camps will subsequently be held every Saturday.

"The banks are ready to roll out the programme. We would monitor it closely so that targets are met," GS Sandhu, secretary, financial services told Hindustan Times.

Under the PMJDY, 150 million new bank accounts would be opened for 75 million identified households by August 2018.

Banks have hired 200,000 banking correspondents, who would be now called bank "mitras", to try and ensure success of the initiative. Their salaries have been doubled from Rs. 2,000-3000, to a minimum of Rs. 5,000 per month. They would receive incentives depending on their performance. The bank "mitras" would be given a standard uniform, Sandhu said.

Modi had on Monday e-mailed chairmen and managing directors of public sector bank officers to ensure the success of the programme, and asked them to forward the mail to their staff.

"This is a national priority and we must rise to meet this challenge. There is an urgency to this exercise as all other development activities are hindered by this single disability. I am sure we will overcome this situation collectively," he had said in the mail.


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