The government will bring various social security schemes run by different departments and ministries under one roof to have better policy formulation and coordination, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday. He also said the government’s focus was on enlarging the scope of these schemes so as to include the maximum number of people within their ambit.
Speaking at a meeting of the consultative committee attached to the finance ministry, Jaitley said the Modi government has taken various initiatives in the last one year to ensure more people are covered under the ambit of social security schemes, adding that the government will bring about other variants of the schemes in the near future.
Currently, only 11% of the population of the country is covered under pension schemes while only 20% of the people are insured.
The finance minister said the three ambitious social security schemes of the government —the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) — launched by the Prime Minister in May 2015, have been successful in evoking a highly positive response.
So far, 7.84 crore people have registered under PMSBY, 2.7 crore under PMJJBY and 4.69 lakh subscribers have joined APY, he said. Jaitley said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has resulted in the opening of 16.73 crore bank accounts within a year with total deposits of R19,990.52 crore.
He said the government subsequently widened the approach to social security for all sections of society by introducing micro insurance, micro pension and micro credit schemes.
Financial services secretary Hasmukh Aadhia said the number of zero balance accounts under the PMJDY have come down from initial 75% to 52%. He said 14.86 crore Rupay cards have been issued as on July 8 under the Scheme to account holders. He added that under PMJJBY, 114 claims were made till July 10, and 54 have been already settled.
Under 4.69 lakh people have subscribed to APY and of that, 3.48 lakh have already received their Permanent Retirement Account Number. A total corpus of R14.91 crore has been accumulated so far under APY.
Adhia said under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), aimed at augmenting the flow of finance to the microfinance sector, an overall disbursement target of R1,22,000 crore was set for banks/financial institutions for 2015-16 and June 30, R6184.80 crore has been disbursed by public sector banks and R1592.13 crore by regional rural banks (RRBs).
The members of the committee, however, said there was a need for more penetration of banks, especially in rural areas and among the poor. They added that post offices can be utilised as payment banks for these social security schemes, as they have vast reach across the country.