The government Wednesday decided to make the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) an open-ended scheme and added more incentives to encourage people to open bank accounts. Briefing reporters about the cabinet decision, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said as the scheme has been a “runway success”, the government has decided to make it an open-ended scheme, meaning that it will continue indefinitely.
The PMJDY was launched in August 2014 for a period of four years as a national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access of financial services like bank accounts, insurance and pensions to the masses.
According to the Cabinet decision, the overdraft facility for the accounts opened under the new scheme will be doubled to Rs 10,000 from Rs 5,000, and Rs 2,000 will be without conditions. The age limit for availing the overdraft facility has also been increased to 65 years from 60 years.
Jaitley further said that 32.41 crore accounts have been opened under the scheme and as much Rs 81,200 crore has been deposited in them so far. Jaitley said 53 per cent of the PMJDY account holders are women, while 83 per cent of the accounts are seeded with Aadhaar.
The government estimates that around 80 per cent of Indians have bank accounts.
Also, the accident insurance cover available on the Rupay debit card linked with the new insurance account has been doubled to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched by the NDA in August 2014.
It was the first big mission launched by the Modi government after it assumed office in May 2014.