Hyderabad, October 23, 2017

1 crore new accounts have been opened

There has been a spurt in cash flows into Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) bank accounts in the past three months.

The period between July and October witnessed a steep rise in the cumulative balances, of the order of Rs.2,554 crore, substantially higher than the Rs.400 crore or so between mid-May and mid-July. The total balance in these accounts now stands at Rs.67,330 crore.

Of the Rs.2,554-crore inflows, the increase from July to August was Rs.1,108 crore, whereas from August to September and September to October it was Rs.722 crore and Rs.724 crore, respectively.

Asked about the possible causes for the increase in balances, a senior executive of the State Bank of India said: “We need to look into the matter when we see the second-quarter numbers.”

An executive of Andhra Bank said there had been an addition of about one crore beneficiaries of the Jan Dhan scheme in the past three months, which could have caused the cumulative balance to increase. The total number of accounts as on October 11 was 30.45 crore against 29.48 crore two months ago.

The scheme, which was launched on August 15, 2014 with a target to provide universal access to banking facilities, had attracted Rs.65,697-crore funds in the three years following its launch (that is, as on August 9, 2017).

Most of the scheme’s beneficiaries hold accounts in rural and semi-urban branches. These accounts witnessed a big spurt in deposits immediately after the demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November 2016.
Key drivers

With the increased focus on Aadhaar and digitisation, new accounts are still being opened in rural areas. The increased use of RuPay cards, which offer many advantages, is also incentivising the rural population to keep balances in their accounts, say bankers.

The National Payment Corporation of India has so far issued about 23 crore RuPay Debit cards to Jan Dhan account holders.

[The Hindu Business Line]