Showing posts with label Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Show all posts

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Govt looking into sudden spurt in Jan Dhan account deposits

Image result for demonetisation

Government is looking into sudden 'propping up' of money into zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts+ , after anunprecedented Rs 2 lakh crore of cash+ flooded the banking system within just two days of demonetisation of high value currency.



Finance minister Arun Jaitley said law enforcement agencies are keeping a hawk eye on illegal currency changers, offering to change the junked 500 and 1000 rupee notes, as well as those investing their money in gold and bullion+ to hide unaccounted wealth.



"We are getting some complaints that suddenly monies have propped up in the Jan Dhan accounts, so there is a misuse and that is why the rationing in initial days takes place," he said, adding that the departments concerned will act if anything improper is found in the deposits.



The government is focusing on ensuring that replacement of currency notes withdrawn, with new legal tender, takes place smoothly and quickly so that inconvenience to people is minimised, Jaitley said, adding "the Enforcement Directorate and revenue department are keeping a close watch".



Cautioning those indulging in illegal usage of the demonetised currency, he said authorities will not hesitate to take action against any unlawful activity.



His statement comes amid reports that the old high denomination notes had been used to buy gold or were being exchanged for a premium.



ED is scrutinising as many as 67 foreign exchange dealers and Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence is also monitoring prominent jeweller and bullion traders.



The finance minister said India as a country should move towards plastics currency and more and more use electronic modes for transactions.



Country's largest lender State Bank of India has got Rs 47,868 crore cash deposits during the last two-and-a-half days and since SBI accounts for about 25 per cent of the banking system, the total cash mobilised by all banks put together could be around Rs 2 lakh crore, said.



In a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on the night of November 8 announced withdrawal of 500 and 1000 rupee notes but allowed people to deposit them in their bank accounts or exchange them with new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes till December 30.



To give comfort to honest taxpayers, it has said deposits of up to Rs 2.5 lakh in accounts of housewives and farmers will not be reported to Income Tax authorities.

Demonetization makes RuPay record 100 percent usage at PoS terminals

rupee.

Since the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has witnessed an impressive surge in the usage of RuPay cards at Point of Sale (PoS) terminals at shops and other retail outlets. During last two days (November 9 and 10, 2016), RuPay usage on PoS/e-commerce was around 8 lakh transactions a day compared with a daily average of 4 lakh transactions earlier. The value of transactions almost doubled.
Commenting on the surge, A P Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI said, “It is heartening to witness a good number of first time users at PoS terminals. Using the PoS is even simpler than using on ATM. When there are restrictions on withdrawal of cash in the aftermath of demonetisation of notes, usage of payment cards at PoS for all day-to-day purchases is the ideal way to transact.”
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) usage has doubled. IMPS and UPI are 24×7 remittance service. There has been a surge in the usage of RuPay cards at Point of Sale (PoS) terminals at shops and other retail outlets. RuPay – the domestic card is enabled on all three channels – ATMs, PoS and e-commerce. India has 14 lakh PoS terminals and all the terminals accept all brands of debit and credit cards.
At PoS terminals, usually the staff at the counter takes the card, swipes on the machine and hands over the PoS machine for the customer to key-in PIN for authorization. Customers are not supposed to share their debit card PIN with anyone. PIN is a secret number and customer has to cover the key pad so that no one can see the numbers being keyed-in at ATM or PoS.
It is also worth mentioning that RuPay card can be used for booking railway tickets, bus tickets, shopping on the internet or paying bills / taxes. Usage of RuPay cards at e-commerce channel has also been growing rapidly and we see good number of RuPay customers in this segment as well.

Monday, September 14, 2015

RuPay cards in currency among bank users: official



Around one lakh of the nearly two lakh customers of Puduvai Bharathiar Grama Bank, the only Regional Rural Bank in the Union Territory of Puducherry, have been given RuPay cards, said D. Devaraj, Chairman of the bank at an e-Payments Literacy Workshop on Tuesday.

The workshop held in Puducherry is among 115 such workshops being held across the country as a programme of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India and an umbrella institution for all retail payment systems in the country. Here, the workshop was conducted by the Puduvai Bharathiar Grama Bank in association with NABARD.
A booklet on e-payments literacy manual was also launched at the event by Shanthamurthy, Joint Director, Planning and Research Department.

The workshops are aimed at promoting e-payments and safe banking practices. Around 200 customers and staff of the Puduvai Bharathiar Grama Bank participated in the interactive workshop.

New app planned

A.R. Ramesh, chief project officer, NPCI, Mumbai, took the audience through various aspects of e-payments like safe usage of ATM cards, fund transfer through IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), benefits of linking Aadhaar card and mobile phone number to bank account, and answered their doubts. Mr. Ramesh said that the NPCI has plans to launch a mobile application bringing on board a large number of billers for the convenience of customers. He also spoke about the benefits of the RuPay card, an initiative of NPCI, with the card being linked to insurance schemes, such as Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.

“The RuPay card is as good as cash. It is accepted on leading websites, including 30,000 merchant websites, besides booking on IRCTC website and airlines websites also,” he said.

Puducherry has high usage of e-payments, said Ravichandran from Puduvai Bharathiar Grama Bank, adding that more than 50 per cent customers at the bank use some kind of e-payment methods. The event was also attended by O.S. Gnana Sekaran, Assistant General Manager, Indian Bank Zonal Office, Puducherry, and P. Veerashankar, Deputy General Manager, NABARD, Chennai. A workshop was also held at Karaikal.

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Govt forms panel to suggest ways on promoting Rupay card transaction

The government has formed a committee which will come out with structures that can be put in place to encourage use of credit or debit cards, Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said today.

"We have formed a committee to look at what are the best ways to incentivise use of credit or debit cards ... The committee will look at what structures can be put in place to encourage use of credit or debit cards," Mehrishi told reporters here.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his maiden full-year Budget had said the government will announce incentives to encourage card usage by consumers to curb black money flow into the system.

"One way to curb the flow of black money is to discourage transactions in cash. Now that a majority of Indians has or can have, a RuPay debit card, I, therefore, propose to introduce soon several measures that will incentivise credit or debit card transactions, and disincentivise cash transactions," Jaitley had said .

Elaborating further, the Finance Secretary said, "Several things are in considerations, for example incentivising banks ... You know there are transaction costs which government can perhaps share."

"But there are also otherwise, you know what I would say to disincentivise cash transaction, any expenditure by a person in a five star hotel above Rs 5,000 have to be settled using credit card, there can be also decisions like that."

Till January 31, over 11 crore Rupay cards have been used under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. This will definitely help banks to encourage customers to go digital with their transactions.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Next phase of Jan-Dhan to offer a range of insurance, pension services


Next phase of Jan-Dhan to offer a range of insurance, pension services
PM Narendra Modi said the banks should redouble efforts in financial literacy and seeding of Aadhar numbers with bank accounts needs to improve.
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday outlined the next phase of the Jan-Dhan Yojana to include credit, insurance and pension as he complimented bankers for near 100% coverage of households under the massive financial inclusion drive.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is a key policy plank of the Modi administration's vow to eradicate what it calls "financial untouchability". Each bank account comes with an accident insurance cover, a RuPay debit card and a life insurance policy of Rs 1 lakh. Account holders will also be provided an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000 later. 
 "Well begun is half done. The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana provides a platform for changing the economic condition of our people," Modi told bankers in his email.

"We need to build on this success and leverage these accounts to provide our citizens a wide range of credit, insurance and pension services. We also need to maintain high standards of customer service. This is the next phase of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana," the PM said.
 
He said the target set for opening bank accounts for all households has been surpassed well ahead of the target date of January 26, 2015. "By opening 11.5 crore new accounts in a very short span, we have achieved a coverage of 99.74% of all households in the country. I congratulate you for your extraordinary efforts," the PM said in his email.

He said doubts were expressed when the drive was launched but the bankers had proved skeptics wrong by achieving "what appeared to be impossible".

"This feat alone should motivate you, as well as others to work to make our dreams a reality," the PM said.
 
Modi said the banks should redouble efforts in financial literacy and seeding of Aadhar numbers with bank accounts needs to improve. "Bank Mitras need to be enabled to carry out RuPay card and Aadhaar enabled transactions in villages itself," the PM said.

"I want you to work to ensure that each account holder enrolls for Aadhaar and seeds it in the bank account. This needs to be done for all accounts. I am sure you will do this seeding with the same zeal you showed in driving bank account opening," he said,

He said most development activities were hindered by the single disability of not having bank accounts but now that it been overcome, "benefits have already started flowing to people through some of the "direct benefit transfer" schemes. This not only ensures that benefits reach people directly, but also utilizes your accounts well," he said.
 
"This is your great contribution to nation-building. We will ensure that many more schemes utilize the DBT platform," he said.    

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

11.5 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened; New Guiness Book of World Record: Most of India is banked: Jaitley


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"Most of India today is included in the banking system," Jaitley said, adding that more than Rs 9,000 crore has been deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts.

As many as 11.5 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, exceeding the enhanced target of 10 crore and covering 99.74 per cent of households, finance minister Arun Jaitley said today.

"Most of India today is included in the banking system," he said, adding that more than Rs 9,000 crore has been deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the financial inclusion scheme in his first Independence Day speech last year. It was launched in August with a target to open bank accounts for 7.5 crore poor persons by January 26, 2015. The target was later increased to 10 crore accounts.

Addressing a press conference here, Jaitley said the government would use these bank accounts to pass on benefits to individuals under its various social security schemes.

Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that even Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the achievements made under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.  


In its citation, the Guinness Book said: "Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial Services, Government of India from August 23 to 29, 2014."

Exclusion of a large number of people from the banking network was inhibiting growth, Jaitley said. "Financial Inclusion is one of the top most priorities of the government. PMJDY is the biggest financial inclusion initiative in the world."

He said that out of the accounts opened, 60 per cent are in the rural areas and 40 per cent in the urban areas. Share of female account holders is about 51 per cent.

Jaitley said that RuPay cards have been issued to more than 10 crore beneficiaries who will get a benefit of personal accidental insurance of Rs 1 lakh besides a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000 for eligible beneficiaries. 


Describing the scheme as "a game changer for the economy", the minister said that it would provide the platform for Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) and help in plugging leakages in subsidies.

Overall, public sector banks alone opened 9.11 crore accounts under PMJDY, followed by regional rural banks which opened about 2.01 crore accounts. On the other hand, 13 private sector banks together open just 37.58 lakh accounts.


According to Adhia, all these accounts are being used for payment of wages under the MNREGA scheme and LPG subsidy. More than Rs 33,000 crore towards MNREGA, LPG and other benefits will be routed through the bank accounts annually.

On the future of the scheme after January 26, Jaitley said the government will take a view on it later.

Responding to a question of duplication of accounts, the minister admitted that there might be some such cases and that was the reason for enhancing the target to 10 crore accounts.

The issuance of the RuPay cards to account holders would encourage use of plastic money and help in moving towards a cashless society, Jaitley said.

The proposal to provide overdraft facility in such accounts would also act as micro finance and prevent people from taking loans at exorbitant rates from money lenders.

Jaitley said that most of the country has been covered by the PMJDY, except those areas which have poor connectivity, are impacted by left-wing extremist and are inaccessible.
 
 
 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

10 crore Jan Dhan accounts, 73% zero balance

PUNE: The government on Friday said that banks had gone past the target of opening 10 crore Jan Dhan accounts and had managed to cover 98% of the households, prompting to now launch a "challenge" to find out if any family remained without access to basic banking facility.

In recent weeks, there has also been a significant increase in the funds deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts with the corpus in the 10.36 crore accounts going past Rs 8,000 crore, according to data available with the finance ministry. But 7.6 crore account holders, which is around 73% of all Jan Dhan accounts, had zero balance on December 30.

"We had done surveys and it shows that across several states we have achieved 100% household coverage. There are some households that are not allowing us access so we will launch a challenge to help find out if there are households that still do not have coverage," financial services secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on the sidelines of the Banker's Retreat here.
 


He clarified that of the 25 crore households in the census, around 22 crore households had participated in the survey conducted by banks and the percentage of households was based on these. He said that the three-odd crore households lived in gated communities and affluent areas and didn't need help in opening accounts.  

In August, the Narendra Modi government launched an ambitious plan to provide all households with a bank account and had hoped to open 7.5 crore accounts by January. But the target was achieved much earlier and the government realized that all households were still not covered, prompting it to scale the target, which has now been achieved. 

The household coverage report available with the government showed that there are few states such as Manipur (78%), Nagaland (76%), Meghalaya (83%), Arunachal Pradesh (84%), Odisha (86%), Sikkim (89%) and Jammu & Kashmir (89%) which still have a large number of households without access to a bank account. But several of the traditional laggards such as Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have near universal coverage.

In some of the districts such as Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills and South West Khasi Hills, there is zero coverage. Adhia told TOI that special attempts will be made to reach to this population so that no one is left behind. In addition, he said that banks are being asked to sensitize account holders about using the RuPay debit card within the first 45 days so that they are entitled to the insurance facility.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Finance Ministry asks banks for early issuance of RuPay card under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

The Finance Ministry has asked banks to expedite issuance of RuPay debit card under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PYMJDY).


The Finance Ministry has asked banks to expedite issuance of RuPay debit card under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

"Banks were asked for early issuance of pass books and RuPay Debit Cards to customers and organise one month as 'RuPay card activation Month' to increase activation of RuPay card," an official statement said.

In a review meeting of PMJDY held recently, all the banks have been advised to cover the gap including of their Regional Rural Banksby December 15.

As per status presented in the meeting, banks have opened 8.39 crore accounts under PMJDY and have issued 5.32 crore RuPay cards leaving a gap of 3.07 crore.

It was discussed that Aadhaar numbers have been seeded in 30 per cent of account opened under PMJDY, it said.

Banks were asked to aware the customers for Aadhaar seeding and to use various channels including SMS, internet Banking and ATMs for seeding of Aadhaar numbers, it added.

The meeting chaired by Anurag Jain, Joint Secretary (FI), Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance banks were asked to make efforts in area of financial literacy in coordination with various agencies and existing Financial Literacy Centers to spread awareness on PMJDY and use of RuPay cards etc.

Executive directors of the banks who participated in the meeting were also asked to arrange for sensitising of their staff members and training for Bank Mitras among others.

During the review, special focus was given on completion of household survey work and coverage of all uncovered households. It was informed that 97 per cent survey work has been completed.

It is found that out of 20.28 crore households, 17.28 crore households have been covered including persons already having bank accounts.
 It was decided that strategy should be framed in such a manner so as to cover remaining uncovered 3 crore households by December 26.

Thereafter the same should be duly publicised through local media that all uncovered households as per survey have been covered and public feedback should be obtained for information about uncovered households, if any, it said.

"For this purpose, information may be given by a person who doesn't have bank account himself or anybody having this knowledge by contacting toll free numbers," it said.

"This process should be carried-out in close supervision and coordination of local district administration. Complete saturation of uncovered Households should be achieved by January 26, 2015," it added.

The Finance Ministry has asked banks to expedite issuance of RuPay debit card under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PYMJDY).

"Banks were asked for early issuance of pass books and RuPay Debit Cards to customers and organise one month as 'RuPay card activation Month' to increase activation of RuPay card," an official statement said.

In a review meeting of PMJDY held recently, all the banks have been advised to cover the gap including of their Regional Rural Banks ..

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45387629.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
The Finance Ministry has asked banks to expedite issuance of RuPay debit card under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PYMJDY).

"Banks were asked for early issuance of pass books and RuPay Debit Cards to customers and organise one month as 'RuPay card activation Month' to increase activation of RuPay card," an official statement said.

In a review meeting of PMJDY held recently, all the banks have been advised to cover the gap including of their Regional Rural Banks ..

Jan Dhan scheme rush: Banks run short of passbooks

Beneficiaries of the Centre-sponsored Jan Dhan scheme are yet to receive their passbooks even after opening accounts two months ago as banks are facing a severe shortage of booklets.

According to a data provided by Syndicate Bank— the lead bank for the project in Meerut circle—over 1.75 lakh accounts have been opened under this scheme in Meerut. District manager of the lead bank, BD Pandey, said, "About 70% new account holders have been given the passbooks but the accounts are opened in such huge numbers in all the banks that it is not possible to provide passbooks to all the costumers. The crisis is not just in Meerut, but prevails in entire state. All the banks are sending their demands to concerned head offices but it will take some time to fulfil the demand."

The situation in Baghpat district is worst. Here, over 36,000 accounts have been opened under the scheme but only 40% costumers got their passbooks. A number of costumers did not even get their account numbers. A resident of Brahamanputthi village in Baghpat, Sonam, said, "I have been visiting the bank for last two months continuously but neither had I got my account number nor the passbook. Every time bank officers tell me that account number will be given with the passbook."

Amidst such situations, the residents are worried over the fact that how they would deposit their savings without having a bank account number and enjoy the benefits of the 'Jan Dhan scheme.'

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is a scheme for comprehensive financial inclusion launched by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 28 August 2014. He had announced this scheme on his first Independence Day speech on 15 August 2014. Under this scheme, account holders will be provided zero-balance bank account with RuPay debit card, in addition to accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh. Those who open accounts by January 20, 2015 over and above the 1 lakh accident cover, they will be given life insurance cover of Rs 30,000.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blistering pace: 6.5 crore bank accounts opened so far under Jan Dhan scheme


Banks, especially public sector and regional rural banks, are going all out to open accounts for individuals from low-income segments.

Under the Prime Minister Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which was launched on August 28, banks collectively opened a whopping 6.51 crore basic savings bank deposit accounts (BSBDA) in just two months. 

Going by the blistering pace at which banks are opening accounts, in all probability, they will surpass the target of reaching 7.5 crore un-banked families by January 26, 2015.

Of the 6.51 crore new accounts that have been opened so far, 4.95 crore are with zero balance, as per data submitted by banks to the Finance Ministry. 

Banks mobilised deposits aggregating ₹4,857 crore from the remaining 1.56 crore new accounts. What this means is that new customers, on average, deposited ₹3,113 per account. 

Public sector banks and regional rural banks accounted for 81 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, of the total accounts opened under PMJDY. The response of private sector banks to the Yojana has been lukewarm.

While banks went all out to open the accounts, they could not issue “RuPay” debit cards to almost half of the new customers.

RuPay cards

“With banks aggressively taking up the task of opening accounts under the PMJDY, supply of RuPay cards lagged demand. However, steps have been taken to augment the supply of cards.

“By December 15, all customers who opened accounts under the PMJDY will receive the cards,” said a senior public sector bank official. PMJDY is a National Mission for Financial Inclusion. It seeks to ensure access to financial services, namely, banking/savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pension in an affordable manner.

RuPay debit card is the home-grown card payment scheme launched by the National Payments Corporation of India to rival global payment processing giants Visa and MasterCard.

Under PMJDY, the debit cards comes with ₹1 lakh accident insurance cover, and an additional ₹30,000 life insurance cover for those opening bank accounts before January 26, 2015.
The performance of the BSBDA is monitored and overdraft facility of up to ₹5,000 is given in a phased manner. 

To remain eligible for the ₹1 lakh accident insurance cover that comes with the BSBDA, the RuPay cards have to be used at least once in 45 days.

At a recent meeting, Finance Ministry mandarins told top bankers that mere issuance of cards will not suffice.
The cards have to be activated at the earliest and made operational.

Monday, November 10, 2014

5 crore Jan Dhan accounts outside Rs 1 lakh accident insurance ambit

5 crore Jan Dhan accounts outside Rs 1 lakh accident insurance ambit

Five crore of the seven crore bank accounts opened under the government's flagship financial inclusion programme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), have fallen outside the ambit of the in-built Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover as these accounts have seen no transaction since they were opened.

Bankers and insurance industry executives say rules require at least one transaction in the account in the preceding 45 days for an account holder to be eligible for the insurance cover. But of the seven crore accounts opened under the scheme, only 1.71 crore accounts have seen transactions while the rest have had zero balance since they were opened, which means there have been no transactions in these accounts.

PMJDY, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 28, seeks to cover 7.5 crore un-banked households in the country in the first phase. It provides Rs 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhar-linked accounts and RuPay debit card, besides a Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover "If an account holder meets with an accident during the 45 days when there has been no transaction in his account, he is not entitled to the insurance cover," said a senior executive with state-run Vijaya Bank who is involved in implementing PMJDY.

5 crore Jan Dhan accounts outside Rs 1 lakh accident insurance ambit

The executive said most of the account holders seem unaware of the '45-day clause'. "We are trying to explain it to them," he said. National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), which has an agreement with private sector HDFC Ergo to provide this insurance cover, is of the view that the accident insurance should not be looked as a plain vanilla welfare measure. "These are initial days of the scheme and there is no need to get disheartened," said AP Hota, managing director and CEO of NPCI."Most of these accounts will be soon linked with various direct benefit transfer schemes and then there will be regular transactions."

The government is all set to launch a modified direct benefit transfer for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on a pilot basis in 54 districts across the country. Under the scheme, LPG consumers will be able to get subsidy directly in their bank accounts even if they do not have Aadhaar numbers.

So far, under PMJDY around 32% accounts have been seeded with Aadhaar and around 4 crore have been issued the Rupay debit card.The prime minister had earlier said that a lot of effort will be required in promoting financial literacy among the new account holders. "New accounts also need to be kept alive and properly utilised.

Aadhaar numbers will need to be seeded in bank accounts," he had said.Towards this end, the finance ministry is working on to increase the reach of banks through various models, including banking correspondents to facilitate banking facilities.
Five crore of the seven crore bank accounts opened under the government's flagship financial inclusion programme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), have fallen outside the ambit of the in-built Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover as these accounts have seen no transaction since they were opened.

Bankers and insurance industry executives say rules require at least one transaction in the account in the preceding 45 days for an account holder to be eligible for the insurance cover. B ..

Jan Dhan balance tops Rs 5,000 crore mark, nearly 7 crore accounts opened

 

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has so far managed to bring over Rs 5,000 crore into the formal banking system, as close to seven crore account holders have started depositing cash into their bank accounts. A large part of this money was hitherto kept at home, with little or no productive use.

Latest data collated by the finance ministry showed that on November 3, 6.98 crore bank accounts had been opened across the country, with Rs 5,300 crore parked in them. Just a tad under 4 crore RuPay cards had been issued to these account holders, with the remaining expected to get the ATM card over the next few weeks, officials said.

At the current pace, it's a matter of days before bank employees help the government scale the target of opening 7.5 crore bank accounts under the financial inclusion scheme launched on August 29. The government was looking to achieve the target before January 26, 2015, well ahead of the earlier schedule of August 15, 2015. But with the target within reach, the finance ministry is now looking at doubling the target to open 15 crore accounts, said an official.

While banks have been ahead of the curve in opening bank accounts, the run rate for deposit accumulation has started picking up now. At current levels, each Jan Dhan account has a balance of around Rs 750. Initially, the average balance in each account was around Rs 500.

Historically financial inclusion accounts have been low value accounts for public sector banks with balances of less than Rs 1,000. For banks, experts said, the challenge is to ensure that the accounts remain active and account holders keep depositing funds as low account balance have in the past deterred bankers from pushing financial inclusion.

This time, however, the government is hoping that cash transfer into the accounts will ensure that transactions take place and sufficient balance is maintained. With the finance ministry also proposing overdraft facility based on the financial history of an account holders, there is an added attraction to maintain a healthy balance.

A recent report by Boston Consulting Group, Ficci and the Indian Banks' Association had pointed out that among the 16 crore no-frills accounts opened before Jan Dhan's launch, only a quarter had a single transaction last year. Similarly, a quarter actually had a balance. "In effect, five years of effort has led to about 20% addition to active savings bank accounts in the nation," said the report, released in September.


Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, CMD of micro finance institution Bandhan Financial Services, which recently got RBI permission to set up a bank network, told TOI on Tuesday that the challenge for banks is to deliver services at the doorstep. "The Jan Dhan Yojana is a very good initiative to open the accounts but how banks design the products and services and bring it to the doorstep that is the issue. You need to inculcate the habit of banking with those customers," he said.

Three-fourths of Jan-Dhan accounts hold zero deposits

Even as banks race to open up accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, only a quarter of the accounts opened till date have any cash deposited in them.

Official data reveals that of the 6.99 crore bank accounts opened till November 4, 75 per cent or 5.29 crore accounts have zero balance. The data also reveals that it is two non-BJP states — Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — where the maximum number of bank accounts have been opened under the scheme.

However, 1.69 crore accounts under the scheme have managed to bring in Rs 5,294.10 crore of household savings into the formal banking channels. Back of the envelope calculations show that on an average each of the accounts have deposited Rs 3,100.

Officials, however, argue that opening of bank accounts is more important and savings will pick up gradually. “A bank account will help inculcate the habit of saving,” said an official. The Jan-Dhan Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 28 with the goal of eradicating “financial untouchability” of the poor by opening at least one bank account for every family in the country in less than six months.

At the time banks had been given a target of opening 7.5 crore accounts under the scheme. Each of the accounts come with a debit card, Rs 1 lakh accidental insurance policy and Rs 30,000 free medical insurance cover for those who enroll before January 26. Depending on the performance of the accounts in the first six months, banks will later extend a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility to one account per household.

While Samajwadi Party led-Uttar Pradesh has opened 1.16 crore bank accounts under the scheme, Trinamool Congress-governed West Bengal has opened 49.54 lakh bank accounts. BJP-led Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have opened 46.3 lakh and 45.82 lakh accounts, respectively, under the scheme till October 29, 2014. The finance ministry, which has been keeping an eye on the progress of the scheme is hopeful that it will meet the target for account opening this fiscal. The data reveals that of the 6.99 crore accounts opened, 3.69 crore RuPay debit cards have also been issued while 2.15 crore accounts have been seeded with Aadhaar numbers.

However, experts say that for the scheme to be truly successful, banks need to provide doorstep services. “Bankers need to understand that if they want to really do financial inclusion, accounts have to be active… they need to provide doorstep banking along with overdraft facility from day one so that the holder can easily access the services,” said Chetna Vijay Sinha, chairperson, Mann Deshi Bank Organisation that runs a regulated cooperative bank for women.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Get account holders under Jan Dhan to use RuPay card, FinMin tells banks

To get customers opening accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to use their RuPay debit cards, the Finance Ministry is believed to have asked banks to take a carrot-and-stick approach.
So, to remain eligible for the ₹1 lakh accident insurance cover that comes with the Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA), the cards may have to be used at least once in 45 days.

At a recent meeting, Finance Ministry mandarins told top bankers that mere issuance of cards will not suffice. The cards have to be activated at the earliest and made operational. 

Ministry officials said that customers have to be advised to operate the cards at a certain time interval, say, once in 45 days, in order to continue to enjoy the accident insurance cover without any charge to them.

Banks were also advised to have an “SMS” alert system for BSBDA beneficiaries so that they use the RuPay card once in 45 days and remain eligible for the accident insurance cover, said a senior official of the Union Bank of India.

RuPay is the home-grown card payment scheme launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to rival global payment processing giants Visa and MasterCard. 

It has been conceived to offer a domestic, open-loop, multilateral system which will allow all Indian banks and financial institutions to participate in electronic payments.

This card is accepted at all ATMs (for cash withdrawal) and at most of the PoS machines (for making cashless payment for purchases) in the country.

A ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’ or ‘no-frills’ account does not have any minimum balance requirement. The services available for such accountholders include deposit and withdrawal of cash at bank branches as well as ATMs; receipt/credit of money through electronic payment channels or by means of deposit/collection of cheques drawn by Central/State Government agencies and departments.

While there is no limit to the number of deposits that can be made in a month, accountholders will be allowed a maximum of four withdrawals in a month, including ATM withdrawals; and comes with the facility of ATM card or ATM-cum-debit card.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which was launched on August 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a National Mission for Financial Inclusion. 

Financial inclusion is the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low-income groups at affordable cost 

The Yojana seeks to ensure access to financial services — namely, banking/savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pension — in an affordable manner.
Banks have been set a collective first target of reaching 7.5 crore unbanked families under the PMJDY by January 26, 2015.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

We expect credit growth to pick up by end of third quarter: Bank of India MD Vijayalakshmi Iyer



Bank of India is planning to set up a subsidiary dedicated to social work, a first among its domestic peers. Amid increasing competition, the public sector lender is trying to consolidate the credit portfolio, cut expenses and focus on fee and treasury income to stay profitable. The bank is focusing on bringing down stressed assets by strict monitoring and faster resolution of cases. Vijayalakshmi Iyer, chairperson & managing director, tells Manju AB how she is steering the bank out of its bad debt problem by personally attending to large accounts. Excerpts from the interview:

What is driving business at Bank of India? With credit growth being at a decade low, how will banks beat the trend and still stay profitable?
The growth has been very low in tune with the industry trend post March 2014. This actually provided an opportunity to consolidate credit portfolio and to put more resources for monitoring mechanism. These efforts will result in lower credit cost and will improve profitability. With more focus on timely resolution of stressed assets, the profitability will, in fact, improve.

When do you expect corporate credit to pick up? And which sectors do you see reviving faster than others?
There has been slowdown in corporate credit demand. Many steps are being taken by the government to enable economic growth to assume faster pace. With pro-growth environment being created, we expect credit growth to pick up by the end of third quarter of the current fiscal. We expect pick-up in SME sector to lead.

How is the retail credit growth?
Notwithstanding lower corporate demand for credit, the retail sector continues to grow resulting in better balancing of portfolio. Focus on agriculture, retail and MSME is driving the business. Widespread geographical spread of branches is helping us growing in these sectors. During the first half of this fiscal, schematic retail loan has grown 12.21% from Rs 21,982 crore as on March 31, to Rs 24,665 crore as on September 30. The growth is 28 % year on year (Rs 19,284 crore to Rs 24,665 crore). Home loan growth has been 31% on a year-on-year basis (Rs 11,400 crore to Rs 14,913 crore). Home loan and LAP constitutes 74% of schematic retail loans as on September 30, 2014 (home loan Rs 14,913 & LAP Rs 3,424 crore). Total retail loans (personal loan segment) of the bank stood at Rs 29,654 crore as on September 30, 2014. Considering the growth pattern in the earlier years, we expect about 40% growth in retail loans during 2014-15.

What will be the key driver of your profits during the current quarter?
The deposit rates have softened in the absence of demand for credit. This will help in achieving lower cost of fund and better "NIM' (net interest margin). Initiatives have been taken to curtail operational expenses as well as to increase non-interest income. All out efforts are being made to achieve lower credit cost by improving monitoring process and also by achieving speedier resolution of non-performing assets. There are two major sources of fee income, in addition to general banking services including remittances, etc. That is (1) business related to credit portfolio and (2) fixed income portfolio. Given the softening of yields on fixed rate bonds, we do expect gains on that account to contribute to our profits.

How are your deposits growing? Any specific campaigns to mobilise CASA (current account savings account)?
It is desirable to match growth in deposits to growth in credit business. Given that demand for credit has been muted, the deposit portfolio is registering slower growth in keeping with opportunities for deployment. We are placing thrust on CASA business and special drives are being arranged across the country to expand the customer base further. Technology related initiatives are being implemented to make banking more customer friendly. The government business is also being expanded with a view to increase CASA portfolio.

How is the joint lending forum (JLF) helping the bank combat the rise in bad loans? Is the JLF being implemented in all earnestness with co-operation from all banks?
Joint Lending Forum (JLF) has been helping the banking system in early resolution of stressed accounts as RBI guidelines warrants time bound rectification process by all banks if majority of banks (75% in value and 60% in numbers) agree for any of the three options available, that is rectification, restructuring or recovery. The implementation of corrective action plan under JLF route has almost stabilised barring addressing of few issues like short period available for implementation of restructuring under CDR
on-CDR route.

Asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) say banks need to give bigger discounts for sales to happen. What has been your experience?
In fact, the role of ARCs is very important in faster resolution of stressed assets. We feel that ARCs need more capitalisation to meet the revised norms of payment of cash up-front of 15%. Admittedly, with higher cash up-front, the ARCs will have more commitment, which will lead to even faster resolution. Bigger discounts on sales will force banks to have bigger hit to their P&L.

Now social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are attempting at money transfers, printing cheque books, etc. Is there any threat to traditional banking from these alternate channels?
There is no question of threat. Innovations in technology are always welcome as they help in achieving higher level of efficiency in providing banking services. It is desirable to remain aligned with evolving technology. We have focus on IT enabled services to ensure that our customers have access to state-of-the-art technology. We were the first PSU bank to introduce first ATM long back in the country. Recently, we introduced cash remittance through ATM to non customers without use of ATM card. It has received good response. Most of our ATMs are now enabled to provide this service of Instant Money Transfer (IMT).

Banks are planning to sell off their non-core assets to streamline the organisation What would be your non-core assets that you might put on the block?
We do have strategic investments and keep reviewing the same from time to time. It is always desirable to realise gains on such investments to augment capital. It is a continuous process.

You had plans of setting up a wholly owned subsidiary for corporate social responsibility. What has been the progress of that?
With a view to have consistent approach for achieving our corporate social responsibility objectives, we have proposed formation of a trust. We have approached appropriate authorities for approvals. We are expecting approvals soon.

Will you have to raise money for Basel III compliance? Will you give some details on the fundraising plans of the bank?
We need to strengthen our capital structure to ensure consistent growth while maintain the desirable levels of capital adequacy. This is a continuous process. We are observing capital market developments very closely and have plans to raise capital at an appropriate time.

Finally, how is Jan Dhan scheme faring and how much of deposits in these accounts if at all have you collected?
Our bank has opened 28.82 lakh accounts from August 16 to October 16 under Jan Dhan scheme and collected Rs 70.07 crore deposits. The scheme is in full swing by means of carrying out household surveys in all the allotted Sub Service Areas (SSA) and wards which is expected to be completed by October 31.Number of RuPay Cards issued by our Bank so far is 17.94 lakh. The backlog is expected to be cleared by November 15. Aadhaar seeding and opening of accounts through e-KYC is picking up and we have seeded 23.48 lakh accounts and opened 11,716 accounts through e-KYC so far.

Have you also rolled out Swachh Bharat campaign?
In this national endeavour, BOI has committed Rs 4 crore for construction of toilets in government schools. The project will cover 85 girls secondary schools in Jharkhand. List of schools and districts covered in the state has already been conveyed to finance ministry, and ministry of HRD. Implementation will be done through local agencies in coordination with BOI zonal offices situated in Jharkhand.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jan Dhan scheme goes against KYC norms, is time bomb for banks



Do not get me wrong. I believe financial inclusion is a wonderful initiative and everybody should have access to a bank account. The concern I have is how this should be done.

Shortly after the budget, on August 28, the Jan Dhan scheme was announced. Its purpose was to make opening a bank account attractive and thereby to coax individuals who do not have a bank account to open an account. As sops there were several inducements – the account could be opened with no deposit; accident insurance of Rs 1 lakh; life insurance cover of Rs 30,000; an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000 and a RuPay debit card to withdraw money.

Banks were asked to promote Jan Dhan, and in the first ten days a mind boggling 3 crore accounts were opened. By October 7, 5.52 crore accounts had been opened.

My concern stems from various factors.

The first is that the account can be opened with just two signed photographs. An individual does not have to submit PAN card or Aadhar card or any other documentation. My concern here is two-fold. This submits that no real verification of an individual is required and that goes against the purpose of the Know Your Customer (KYC) rules that were brought in to check money laundering and terrorist activities.

Earlier before these rules were enforced individuals opened accounts in fictitious names to "bank" their black money. The other worry is that individuals will have multiple accounts in different banks which they may then misuse for the benefits under the scheme. The one-page account opening form has a column seeking self-declaration that a person does not have any account in any bank. This self-declaration is meaningless as there is no mechanism to stop multiple accounts. Furthermore there is no inter-bank arrangement to stop duplication.

Bankers agree that accounts opened without a valid address proof are high risk. They are unable to do anything though in this regard as the scheme permits accounts to be opened with two signed photographs.

The Prime Minister after announcing the scheme wrote to the chairmen of all public sector banks to aggressively open accounts – the target given was 7 crore accounts. The large number of accounts opened is testimony to the enthusiasm displayed by these worthies. State Bank alone opened 11,300 camps solely to open Jan Dhan accounts. Others were not far behind. There have been 12-hour Saturday camps and account opening Sundays. The issue that needs to be addressed is whether banks can service these accounts. Service in some of the large public sector banks are often found wanting. The infrastructure does not exist to handle this volume. No one seems to have addressed the issue on banks expect to manage this.

In the initial years of bank nationalisation, public sector banks were given targets that had to be met. There were loan melas held and large amounts were disbursed. These ended up as bad loans as the recipients viewed these loans as a right. I remember a public sector banker who told me that he was told that he should disburse amounts to farmers for digging wells. In this endeavour he would meet villagers who had land and force them to take money to dig wells they did not ask for.

The aim was to meet the target. More often than not the money was spent for another purpose as no follow-up was done and in time they became bad debts. I foresee a situation that is similar. Many will run up an overdraft of Rs 5,000 and then disappear off the grid or open another Jan Dhan account at another bank and in time run up another overdraft. Public sector banks labouring with huge non-performing loans cannot afford to be saddled with another potential time bomb. I foresee too that even though bankers may say that all will not be permitted to run up an overdraft, there would be political pressure that will be brought to bear and bank managers may have no alternative.
I honestly hope these concerns do not become a reality but I am frightened. We, as a race, have a tendency to subvert even the best of intentions and financial inclusion is a good thing.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jan Dhan Yojana: Delay in issuing RuPay cards may block benefits


After the initial euphoria over Jan Dhan Yojana, operational difficulties are casting clouds over the execution of the ambitious financial inclusion scheme. 

The most serious concern for the government is delay in issuing the RuPay cards by banks after opening of the accounts, apart from significant duplication of the accounts. 

“These are the issues which have been observed by us nationally. Proper data on the issue of RuPay cards should also be maintained,’’ N Srinivasa Rao, Director, Ministry of Finance, said at a bankers’ meeting here last week. 

According to the Ministry, 5.29 crore bank accounts were opened as on October 2, 2014 and 1.78 crore RuPay cards have been issued. It had also asked all banks to set up exclusive grievance cells to provide service to the account holders. 

Without the issue of Rupay cards, the assured benefits such as RuPay card offers and personal accident insurance and permanent disability of ₹1 lakh cannot be extended to the accountholders. 

Supply constraints

When contacted, M Anjaneya Prasad, Executive Director, Syndicate Bank, said that a major reason for the delay in issuing RuPay cards was supply constraint.

“As every bank is opening new accounts, there is lot of demand for the cards which have to be issued by the National Payments Corporation of India. The supply needs to be augmented as about 10 crore cards have to be issued by 2015 for the new accounts holders,” he said.

According to senior executive of Canara Bank, there is also need to work out the cost aspects of the cards. As of now, ₹1 is being charged for the card, which is borne by banks. 

The total number of banks issuing RuPay cards is now more than 250 and the card base as on April 30 is over 17 million and is growing at a rate of about 3 million a month. 

“This will go up significantly, thanks to the new scheme,” he said. 

Duplication of accounts

Another issue for banks is duplication of accounts as many no frills accounts were already opened under financial inclusion drive so far. 

Banks are hoping to deal with the issue with seeding of all accounts to one Aadhar number so that all could be linked.

It remains to be seen how the knotty issues are dealt with in the days to come.

5.29 crore accounts opened; 1.78 crore RuPay cards issued under PMJDY





"As on date, 5.29 crore accounts have been opened under PMJDY, of which 3.12 crore are in rural and 2.17 crore are in urban areas. RuPay Card have been issued in 1.78 crore accounts," an official statement said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched this ambitious scheme of financial inclusion on August 28.

The benefit of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) can be extended to existing account holders without opening a new account.

The statement said Mission Director and Additional Mission Director reviewed the progress in implementation of PMJDY with Executive Directors of PSU banks and some of the private banks such as Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank.

It said banks have been advised to increase their capacity to issue RuPay cards and clear the backlog quickly.

While most of the banks expect backlog to be cleared by October 15th, in some banks it may take four weeks, it added.

Banks have initiated the survey work for identification of uncovered households which will be completed by October 10. This is excluding the states of Haryana and Maharashtra where
survey work has been temporarily suspended in view of Assembly Elections, the statement said.

The main features of the PMJDY scheme include Rs 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhar-linked accounts, RuPay Debit Card with in-built Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover.

Besides, account holders under the scheme will get life insurance cover of Rs 30,000. This is an additional benefit that was announced by the Prime Minister during the launch of the scheme.

The government is also considering transfer of kerosene oil and LPG subsidies directly to bank accounts.

Presently, the government subsidies the products so that consumers can buy fuel below market price, however, under direct benefit transfer the consumer will be paid cash subsidy so that he can buy kerosene and LPG at market price.

Jan Dhan target to be met, on paper

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Enquiry about a Jan-Dhan account form at a Bank of Baroda branch in the National Capital Region (NCR) was greeted with: but don't you have an account in any bank? After 10 minutes, the form did eventually come, with a stare that had 'why burden us with another account that is going to remain idle' written all over it.

Just a few kilometres away, one of the branches of IDBI Bank had run out of forms. An executive explained that since there was a huge pile of forms yet to be processed, it had been decided to go slow in opening new accounts. A nearby United Bank of India branch is yet to issue RuPay cards to some customers who opened their accounts nearly a month ago. One such customer said: "Bank officials were clearly in no mood to open our accounts in the first place. We were asked to come some other time. When we persisted, they went through the motions. But we are yet to receive anything."

FAST TRACK INCLUSION
  • 47,630,652 - Number of new accounts opened
  • 13,303,975 - Number of RuPay cards issued
  • Rs 3,226.97 crore - Balance in accounts
  • 36,574,947 - Number of zero balance accounts
Status as on September 23 Source: Ministry of finance

As the Jan-Dhan scheme completes a month since its official launch, reports coming in from various parts of the country suggest the stated target of 75 million new accounts will be achieved much before January 26 next year. But the scheme's implementation is patchy. Agents are charging commissions for filling forms in Bihar. Reports indicate in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, stationery shops are selling forms as bank branches have run out. "These reports are not baseless. Some of these things are happening. But an overburdened banking system cannot be expected to do everything," said an executive with a leading public sector bank (PSBs).

In terms of numbers, the scheme has exceeded expectations. By September 23, all banks put together had opened 47 million new accounts. RuPay cards have been issued to 13 million people. Of all accounts opened in less than a month, 36 million are zero-balance ones.

Bankers this reporter spoke to complain they are flooded with inane queries. What are the benefits of this loan scheme? When will the insurance money come into the account? How much loan can be taken against this account? Can insurance money multiply with multiple accounts and can the RuPay card serve as another proof of identity? "With such a deluge of questions every day, two executives of a bank branch, on an average, are entrusted with the task of dealing with them," said another bank executive. It was bound to have some impact on core banking operations, he added.

The less-than-enthusiastic response of bankers stems from the fact that most branches have been asked to hold 12-hour camps every Saturday. At times, staff are made to come in on Sundays to ensure satisfactory completion of targets. "Even if we take the help of business correspondents, verification of documents and processing of forms have to be done by bank staff. There is a limit to how many forms can be processed in a day," said another executive with a PSB.

Bankers also say multiple accounts might prove a spoiler. "I will say 50-60 per cent of all the accounts that have been opened under the Jan-Dhan scheme are by those who already have accounts in other banks," said the executive of the leading bank. Other bankers concurred. In fact, this reporter came to know about a person who opened a new account under the scheme in the branch where she already had an account. "What is wrong in this? If there is a new scheme, why should we be denied its benefits just because we are already part of the banking network?" her husband, a resident of Ghaziabad, asked.

The one-page account opening form has a column seeking self-declaration that a person does not have any account in any bank. But bankers say the self-declaration is meaningless as there is no mechanism to stop multiple accounts. "If a person has multiple documents as proof of identity, he can open multiple accounts and our system cannot detect it. There is no inter-bank arrangement to stop duplication," said the branch manager of another PSB.

Bankers say accounts opened without valid address proof are put in the high-risk category and these are unlikely to get the overdraft facility. Such account holders will be asked to furnish proof of residence within a year, as is the case with all accounts in the high-risk category. The Bank of Baroda form mentions that eligibility for an overdraft facility of up to Rs 2,000 is "satisfactory operation" of an account for at least six months. "There is a great deal of misconception about the overdraft facility. Those who have opened accounts under this scheme are under the impression that they automatically become eligible for the overdraft facility, which is not the case," said the executive of the leading PSB.

On accident insurance of Rs 1 lakh for each account holder, bankers say it comes automatically with the RuPay card. What it means is that existing account holders who opened their accounts prior to the launch of the scheme may get RuPay cards issued against their old accounts and become eligible for accident insurance. However, bankers are awaiting further instructions on who is going to pay the premium for the life insurance cover of Rs 30,000 that has been promised with each Jan-Dhan account.