Even though 96% of households in the state have Aadhar cards, of the total 640,000 accounts with `125 crore deposited under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana scheme only 70% are linked to Aadhar. More than half of the accounts, 561,000 of which have been opened in rural areas, have a zero balance.
Himachal has best Aadhar coverage as over 660,000 Aadhar cards have been issued against a population of around 6.85 million.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to all service providers to speed up the work of covering more households under the schemes and to link accounts with Aadhar to provide the benefit of direct subsidy transfer. “Since an Aadhar card wasn't required to open a bank account under the scheme, most account holders haven't linked their accounts with it. However for benefit of direct subsidy transfer it is mandatory,” a bank official said.
The scheme was launched in Himachal on August 28 last year through 38 banking service providers, including private, rural and cooperative banks. Of these eight are private banks in which 13,000 accounts have been opened under the scheme.
Claiming all allotted wards had been covered, principal finance secretary Shrikant Baldi, who is state mission director of the Jan Dhan Yojana scheme, said: “There were 2,489 wards with 1,298,191 households and all have been covered under the scheme. There are over 1,850 bank branches in the state and more branches are being opened by banks.”
“Bank coverage is better in Himachal Pradesh and about Aadhar linking, people need to aware about the benefits. This can be done through financial literacy among the residents,” a UCO Bank official said.
PMJDY------(status as on Jan 31)
Accounts: 6.40 lakh
Rural: 5.60 lakh
With zero balance: over 3.20 lakh
Deposit amount: 125 cr
Bank branch network in HP-
Per branch population (2011 census)