“The scale of ambition of the Jan-Dhan Yojana has been much higher than for any other financial inclusion initiative in the past. The project has been instrumental in bringing almost all families of the country into the formal financial system and enabling citizens at the grassroots to perform financial transactions and keep their hard-earned money safe,” Jaitley, away in Ankara, Turkey, for a G-20 countries' meet of finance ministers, stated on the first anniversary of the financial inclusion scheme.
India has been recognised in the Guinness World Records for opening a little over 18 million bank accounts in a week. Under PMJDY, 175 million new accounts have been opened in a year, with total deposits around Rs 22,600 crore.
“As a next step, the aim is to utilise these accounts for extending insurance, pension, and credit facilities to those currently excluded from these benefits,” said the minister.
Digital financial services are a key tool for implementation of the goals. The hope is that this would inspire other governments to harness the power of digital payments as a strategy for achieving the (global) Sustainable Development Goals, the statement added.
“India’s leadership and progress are inspirational for countries around the world,” said Ruth Goodwin-Groen, managing director of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Meanwhile, the finance ministry said the focus of PMJDY had moved from account opening to facilitating account holders in withdrawing cash from an approachable distance, as the former activity was reaching a saturation point. The initial expectation for bank accounts was around 75 million but close to 180 mn had been opened. And, 157.4 million Rupay Debit cards had been issued, it said.