Friday, June 12, 2015

Jan Dhan rolls on, but ‘dhan’ in accounts slow to accrue




About 47 per cent of bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana in Karnataka have zero balance

Banks in Karnataka have gone about creating no-frills accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) with great zeal and created close to 72 lakh accounts since August 15, 2014. The difficult task, however, has been ensuring transactions through the accounts, with nearly half of them categorised as ‘zero-balance’ accounts as of now.
Massive drive

Statistics accessed through SyndicateBank, Karnataka’s nodal bank for the scheme, shows that banks in Karnataka created 71.68 lakh accounts under the PMJDY between August 15, 2014 and May 23, 2015. Of them, 33.88 lakh are zero-balance accounts, which translates to 47.27 per cent.
K. Preetam Lal, General Manager of SyndicateBank, said population in the State yet to have bank account was “less than one per cent”, which includes migrant workers and people in very remote areas. He said the banks had not insisted on opening with a balance in the first phase, but the next target was making them operational, which they hope to achieve by the year-end.
A micro reading of the zero-balance accounts across districts under this much-talked-about financial inclusion mission throws up some interesting patterns. Predictably, many districts with over 50 per cent zero-balance accounts lie in north Karnataka, with Bagalkot (61.19 per cent), Haveri (60.64 per cent), Koppal (57.95 per cent), Vijayapura (56.64 per cent) and Ballari (56.42 per cent) among the toppers.
The contrast

However, it is Bengaluru Rural district that has the maximum number of zero-balance accounts (81.15 per cent). In contrast, Bengaluru Urban district has the least number of zero-balance accounts, at 29.87 per cent.
OD, but only with Aadhaar
People opening the PMJDY account are entitled to overdraft (OD) facility, but conditions apply. The account-holder should have “satisfactory” transaction for six months and he/she should be the head of the family. Another important condition is that he/she should mandatorily have an Aadhaar card, which is important for “reasons of regulation”. As of now, of the 71.68 lakh accounts, 41.25 lakh are Aadhaar-seeded accounts.
Reluctance for RuPay card
A PMJDY card holder is entitled to a RuPay debit card, but a substantial number of those who are entitled for the cards do not appear to be interested in taking them. As per the records, though 63.79 lakh debit cards have been issued, banks have reported that about 20 per cent of them have not been collected by beneficiaries.
* Total number of PMJDY accounts in State: 71,68,528
* Total number of accounts with zero balance: 33,88,737
* Total number of Aadhaar-seeded accounts: 41,25,839
* Total balance in accounts: Rs. 641.93 crore
* RuPay debit cards issued: 63,79,177

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