New accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana touch 2.14 cr

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2014, 05:59am hrs
Stating that the number of new accounts opened under the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has touched 2.14 crore as on Saturday noon, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government will ensure that the comprehensive financial inclusion scheme won't be a burden on the banks.

Significantly, the government officials also indicated that RuPay card would have international validity soon, on the lines of other major global payment gateways such as Visa and MasterCard. On helping banks meet the PMJDY implementation costs, financial services secretary GS Sandhu said the commission payable to banks would be at least 2% of the amount actually transferred through BCs to the PMJDY beneficiaries under the direct benefit transfer scheme. However, he added that a panel headed by former Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani had earlier recommended this to be raised to 3.14%. Also, the extra float amount, thanks to the DBT going to the beneficiaries' accounts, will also compensate the banks for the expenses incurred on PMJDY and the BC model, the official added.

Currently 1% of the total amount transferred under the DBT scheme goes to banks as commisison. Under the PMJDY, beneficiaries who already have a bank account and those who are opening new accounts will be eligible to take benefits of accident insurance of Rs 1 lakh and life insurance of Rs 30,000 by getting a RuPay card issued from their bank branch before January 26, 2015.

On the costs regarding life insurance, Sandhu said modalities are being worked out where a nominal cost will have to be incurred by the account holder on the premium amount, while the government also will chip in. In addition, the social security fund (being administered by LIC to provide social security through group insurance scheme to weaker sections of society) will also take care of the premium and cost requirements.

Sandhu said the National Payments Corporation of India (managing the RuPay card), has agreements with HDFC Ergo for accident insurance and LIC for life. A small transaction fee (for RuPay debt card transactions) will also help in meeting the premium costs for accident insurance. On the setting up of the credit guarantee fund to cover defaults of the overdraft facility of up to R5,000, he said a proposal for a R1,000 crore credit guarantee fund is likely to go to be Cabinet in the next few months.