The coronavirus pandemic has led to a 60 per cent increase in the opening of new Jan Dhan accounts.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a massive surge in PM Jan Dhan Yojana accounts since the beginning of the ongoing financial year. The total number of PMJDY accounts stood at 41.05 crores with a total balance of Rs 1.31 lakh crore, said the SBI Ecowrap report. Since 1 April, around 3 crore accounts were opened, with a total rise in deposits of Rs 11,060 crore in those accounts. The pandemic has led to a 60 per cent increase in the opening of new Jan Dhan accounts, the report added. PMJDY accounts work as a primary vehicle for labour remittances, apart from increased lending, smoothing consumption, and increased spending on healthcare.
The research further stated that there was a significant reduction in remittances due to lockdown and it touched the lowest level in April. However, it increased in June and July, and in the month of September, it has just crossed the pre-COVID level as witnessed in February. Thus, it seems migrant labourers are coming back in adequate numbers to workplaces for livelihood and that too much before Diwali as was largely expected, the report added.
PMJDY accounts are acting as a deterrent to crime
It has been found that the usage of PMJDY accounts is more frequent in areas that are more prone to crime. Acknowledging that the genesis of crime can also be traced to the interplay of various social, economic, demographic, and other factors apart from putting more money in accounts at the lower strata of society, there is evidence of PMJDY accounts having some impact on crimes, SBI said in the research report. Meanwhile, SBI research has recommended the government to put more money into PMJDY accounts as a sort of third fiscal stimulus, possibly through enlarging the NREGA scheme or through a scheme for the urban poor.