New Delhi, August 27, 2017

Outlines vision to link 1 billion Aadhaar IDs to 1 billion bank a/cs and 1 billion mobile phones

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the related Jan Dhan- Aadhaar and Mobile number (JAM) trinity has the potential to link all Indians into one common financial, economic, and digital space.

“No Indian will be outside the mainstream. This is nothing short of a social revolution,” he said on Sunday, as the government’s flagship PMJDY completes three years.

Under the scheme aimed at financial inclusion, bank accounts for all citizens have been opened and direct cash transfer of subsidies enabled.

As many as 29.52 crore bank accounts have been opened under the scheme with a cumulative balance of Rs.65,844.68 crore.

Jaitley said zero balance accounts under PMJDY declined from 76.81 per cent in September 2014 to 21.41 per cent in August 2017.

He further said that now with the BHIM app and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), JAM can become fully operational.

“A secure and seamless digital payments infrastructure has been created so that all Indians, especially the poor can become part of the digital mainstream,” he said.

Notwithstanding the ongoing challenge to Aadhaar in the Supreme Court, the Finance Minister outlined a “one billion- one billion- one billion vision” for the country.

“That is one billion unique Aadhaar numbers linked to one billion bank accounts and one billion mobile phones. Once that is done, all of India can become part of the financial and digital mainstream,” he said.

At present, about 52.4 crore unique Aadhaar numbers are linked to 73.62 crore accounts in India. Every month now, about 7 crore successful payments are made by the poor using their Aadhaar identification, the Minister noted.

Outlining benefits of the JAM trinity, he said that the poor will have access to financial services and be cushioned against life’s major shocks. “Government finances will be improved because of the reduced subsidy burden; at the same time, government will also be legitimised and strengthened because it can transfer resources to citizens faster and more reliably and with less leakage,” he said.

Jaitley said that the PMJDY has also helped the implementation of the Mudra Yojana with Rs. 3.66 lakh crore distributed to 8.77 crore beneficiaries.

[The Hindu Business Line]