The government’s flagship financial inclusion programme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY), has helped double the number of basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) and also led to a steep rise in the number of women account holders, according to the mid-year Economic Survey 2016-17 released on Friday. The data from top 40 banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) suggest that as of March 2017, women’s share has risen to about 40 per cent, compared to 28 per cent in March 2015. This includes 14.49 crore accounts opened by women under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY), out of a total of 43.65 crore women’s accounts. This data shows a sizeable and rapid growth in financial inclusion of women.
The mid-year Economic Survey emphasised that effective financial inclusion should be reflected not only in terms of access but in the use of financial services also. According to the survey, in terms of deposit mobilisation, the average balance in accounts opened under PMJDY has registered steady growth, from Rs 1,065 per account in March 2015 to Rs 2,236 in March 2017. (See Graph)
In addition, zero balance accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) has declined consistently from nearly 58 per cent in March 2015 to around 24 per cent as of December 2016. (See Graph)
Aadhaar-enabled payments, the principal mode of transactions at BC (business correspondent) outlets, have also witnessed a quick growth, growing from 0.3 crore per month in August 2015 to 2.3 crore in August 2016 and 6.8 crore in May 2017. The number of rural accounts opened under PMJDY has increased from 8.0 crore in August 2015 to 14.8 crore in August 2016 and 17.2 crore in May 2017. This growth in transactions is at a rate much faster than the rate of growth of the rural account base. Therefore, use of accounts in terms of both deposits and transactions through BC outlets has registered impressive growth, which has positive consequences for the viability of and the continued growth of the BC network, according to the survey.