Holders of Jan Dhan a/cs to get insurance
After seven successful years of the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the financial inclusiveness scheme, the government is considering providing life insurance and accident covers to over 430 million account holders, the finance ministry said on Saturday.
The government plans to ensure coverage of PMJDY account holders under micro insurance schemes — Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), the ministry said in a statement. The Jan Dhan scheme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on August 15, 2014.
“Banks have already been communicated about the same,” the statement issued on Saturday said. According to the department of financial services (DFS) website, PMJJBY provides a life cover of ₹2 lakh for a premium of less than Re 1 per day. PMSBY covers accidental risks.
The scheme provides ₹2 lakh for accidental death and full disability, and ₹1 lakh for partial disability for a premium of ₹12 per annum.
The government is also making endeavours to promote digital payments among Jan Dhan account holders through the creation of acceptance infrastructure across the country and improving their access to micro-credit and micro-investment such as flexi-recurring deposits, the ministry said.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “The journey of PMJDY led interventions undertaken over a short span of seven years has in effect, produced both transformational as well as directional change thereby making the emerging FI [financial inclusion] ecosystem capable of delivering financial services to the last person of the society-the poorest of the poor.”
“The underlying pillars of PMJDY, namely, Banking the Unbanked, Securing the Unsecured and Funding the Unfunded has made it possible to adopt multi-stakeholders’ collaborative approach while leveraging technology for serving the unserved and underserved areas as well,” she said in the statement.
According to the finance ministry, the number of Jan Dhan accounts have jumped to 43.04 crore (430.4 million) in August 2021 from 17.9 crore (179 million) in August 2015.
Out of the current account holders, 55.47% (238.7 million) are women and 66.69% (287 million) are located in rural and semi-urban areas.
Minister of state for finance Bhagwat Karad said PMJDY has been one of the most far-reaching initiatives towards financial inclusion not only in India but in the world.
“Financial Inclusion is among top-most priorities of the Government as it is an enabler for inclusive growth. It provides an avenue to the poor for bringing their savings into the formal financial system, an avenue to remit money to their families besides taking them out of the clutches of the usurious money lenders,” he said in the statement.
While launching the programme on August 28, 2014, Prime Minister Modi described the occasion as a festival to celebrate the liberation of the poor from a vicious cycle.
PMJDY has been the foundation stone for people-centric economic initiatives. “One in two accounts opened between March 2014 and March 2020 was a PMJDY account. Within 10 days of nationwide lockdown more than about 20 crore women PMJDY accounts were credited with ex-gratia,” the statement said.
“In today’s COVID-19 times, we have witnessed the remarkable swiftness and seamlessness with which Direct Benefit Transfer (DBTs) have empowered and provided financial security to the vulnerable sections of society. An important aspect is that DBTs via PM Jan Dhan accounts have ensured every rupee reaches its intended beneficiary and preventing systemic leakage,” it said.