The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday said that it plans to strengthen the efforts of financial inclusion after Jan Dhan Yojana by ensuring the availability of banking facilities every 5 kilometres. Addressing a press conference, Rajeev Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), said that a state-level financial inclusion index will be launched to track the progress made towards the aim.
The Finance Ministry will release an Annual Financial Inclusion Index (FII), which will be a measure of access and usage of several formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products, the government said.
Speaking on the initiative, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that this step to measure progress towards financial inclusion will make states proud if they do well.
“The single composite index gives a snap shot of level of financial inclusion that would guide Macro Policy perspective. The various components of the index will also help to measure financial services for use of internal policy making,” the government added.
The Narendra Modi government has been pursuant towards financial inclusion since it was elected in 2014. The much-appreciated Jan-Dhan Yojana was one of the first initiatives launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first Independence Day speech.
Under the Jan-Dhan Yojana plan, zero balance bank accounts were opened to ensure maximum financial penetration. However, some reports have pointed out that many of the accounts opened under Jan- Dhan Yojana have been inactive for more than a year even as they lauded the initiative.