Taking a dig at the Raghuram Rajan-led Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said things have started moving in India under him and the Jan Dhan scheme was being implemented at a rapid pace despite initial reluctance of RBI and bureaucracy.
Recalling his initial days as a Prime Minister, Modi said when he asked how much time RBI would take to open bank accounts for 7.5 crore families who are out of the banking net, the central bank had told him it would take three years.
“I asked the RBI, this work has to be done. RBI said, it could be done…as no one can dare refuse Prime Minister…but they know the techniques. They said it would take three years,” Modi told the strong gathering of Indian community at Allphones Arena here.
The Prime Minister said when he enquired about the opening of bank accounts from the Department of Financial Services, he was told it would take two years.
“They thought Modi would be happy. They (RBI) said three years but we have said two years, so the things will move forward,” Modi said, adding his own office, PMO estimated that the targetted accounts could be opened in at least one year.
However, Modi added that he announced on August 15 from Red Fort that 7.5 crore bank accounts should be opened within 150 days — by January 26, 2015.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), about 7.1 crore accounts have already been opened in which poor people have deposited about Rs 5,000 crore.
He further said the bank nationalisation was aimed at financial inclusion and reaching banking services to the poor. However, he added the average number of accounts opened annually in the last 68 years was about one crore.
On other hand, under the Jan Dhan Yojna about 7.1 crore accounts have already been opened in 10 weeks time, the Prime Minister added.
PMJDY is national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services.