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  1. Financial inclusion: Jan Dhan Yojana offers more benefits

Financial inclusion: Jan Dhan Yojana offers more benefits

The Cabinet on Tuesday reinforced its flagship financial inclusion scheme, by doubling the overdraft limit to Rs 10,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and allowing holders of such no-frills accounts to withdraw as much as Rs 2,000 without any conditions.

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 6, 2018 5:42 AM
PMJDY, ARUN JAITLEY, FINANCE MINISTER ARUN JAITLEY, ECONOMY The PMJDY, under which 32.54 crore accounts have been opened since inception, would now be an open-ended scheme, finance minister Arun Jaitley said. (ANI)

The Cabinet on Tuesday reinforced its flagship financial inclusion scheme, by doubling the overdraft limit to Rs 10,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and allowing holders of such no-frills accounts to withdraw as much as Rs 2,000 without any conditions. The age limit for availing of such overdraft facility has also been raised to 65 years from 60 earlier.

The PMJDY, under which 32.54 crore accounts have been opened since inception, would now be an open-ended scheme, finance minister Arun Jaitley said. According to him, the PMJDY accounts, 83% of which are Aadhaar-seeded, collectively have deposits of about Rs 81,200 crore now.

Separately, financial services secretary Rajiv Kumar tweeted that free accident insurance cover on RuPay card for new Jan Dhan accounts has been doubled to Rs 2 lakh.

As per the existing scheme, an overdraft facility of up to Rs 5,000 is available to one account holder per household after six months of satisfactory conduct of the PMJDY account. The objective of PMJDY, which was launched in August 2014, is to ensure access to various financial services through these basic savings accounts.

Kumar said as much as 80% of India now has a bank account under the PMJDY and “a bank account for every adult” is the new goal. The scheme has covered all the households in the country, so now the target is to cover all the adults, said a finance ministry official.

As per the existing scheme, an overdraft facility of up to Rs 5,000 is available to one account holder per household after six months of satisfactory conduct of the PMJDY account. The objective of PMJDY, which was launched in August 2014, is to ensure access to various financial services through these basic savings accounts.

About 53% of the Jan Dhan accounts are held by women and 59% are in rural/semi-urban areas. Direct benefit transfers (DBT) have been made to as many as 7.5 crore of these accounts.
Commenting on the issue of rising fuel prices in the country, Jaitley said it is due to external factors and that in the last few months, dollar has strengthened against all currencies. “However, among the overall package of currencies we trade in, only dollar has strengthened against the rupee,” he added.

The global oil prices have risen around 10% in the last two weeks on the back of declining inventories and Iranian exports due to US sanctions. This has led to domestic petrol and diesel prices rocketing to all-time highs. “Since we are net buyers of oil, if artificial shortage of oil is created, we are impacted,” he said.

Jaitley, however, clarified that there is no need for the fastest growing economy of the world to panic and take knee-jerk reactions. “There has been no straight line movement in global crude oil price as it has moved up and down. We are hopeful that these fluctuations will calm down and the Indian economy will show its strength. Also, RBI will do whatever needed if required,” he added.

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