Mumbai, April 3 (DNA): The Jan Dhan Yojana, the flagship programme of the NDA government, has opened 14 crore accounts across the country and is still counting. Of the new account holders, 41 per cent have deposited more than Rs 14,000 crore. “We have only seen the prosperity of the rich but the Jan Dhan Yojana makes us see the wealth of the poor,” said PM Modi in Mumbai on Thursday. The challenge, he said, now will be to increase transactions.
How does the scheme work?
The scheme offers free zero-balance bank account with a debit card, Rs 1 lakh accidental insurance policy and Rs 30,000 free medical insurance cover for the poor. It also provides an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000.
What is Modi now aiming at?
Modi has asked the RBI to prepare a 20-year road map for financial inclusion and nudged banks to be considerate in giving loans to the poor as also while making recoveries from them, especially farmers.
“RBI will be completing 100 years in 2035… it will be appropriate for the central bank to work on the theme of financial inclusion and prepare a road map for achieving it,” said PM. The other milestones for achieving financial inclusion could be 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019, 75th year of Independence in 2022.
Prime Minister on Thursday asked banks and companies to persuade their employees to give up subsidised LPG, saying if one crore people surrender it, an equal number of poor families would get the benefit of this clean energy.
Modi had recently launched the ‘Give It Up’ campaign, asking well-off people to surrender their LPG subsidy. He said so far about two lakh consumers have joined the initiative. There are about 15.3 crore LPG consumers in the country. “I believe that our banks should take all their employees in confidence. Every bank should resolve that their employees would give up the subsidy,” he added.
He added that his government has undertaken 13,000 direct transfers for gas subsidy. “About Rs 8,000 crore money is transferred as subsidy money to the beneficiaries.”
Expressing concern over farmers’ suicides and the plight of the poor in the country, Modi asked the bankers to be considerate in providing financial assistance to poor. “Farmers’ plight should shake the conscience of the banking sector,” he said adding, “The pain should not only be restricted to newspapers and TV screens. When a farmer dies, does it shake the heart of banking sector? He took the extreme step only because he was forced to take loan from a money lender,” Modi said.