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Zero Balance! Average deposits in PM Modi’s Jan Dhan accounts jump by over 145%

Krishnanand Tripathi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious financial inclusion programme Jan Dhan scheme, which was once criticised for zero balance or no deposits in a large number of accounts, has been gradually changing the saving behaviour of poor and rural people in the country. Average deposit in these Jan Dhan accounts have been steadily rising in last four years, crossing the mark of average Rs 2,500 per Jan Dhan account in January this year.

According to the latest data given by the ministry of finance in Parliament, the average deposit size in more than 34 crore Jan Dhan Accounts was Rs 2,603 on January 23 this year. The average deposit size was Rs 1,065 on March 03, 2015 and in nearly last four years it has jumped by 145% to over Rs 2,600.

As per the latest official data, the cumulative deposit in more than 34 crore Jan Dhan accounts at the end of January this year was more than Rs 88,566 crore.

In fact the number of inoperative bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana have also registered a significant decline.

The percentage of inoperative PMJDY accounts have declined from 19.8% in December 2017 to 16.3% in December 2018, finance minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha, adding that the number of operative accounts have gone up from 60% of the Jan Dhan accounts in March 2017 to nearly 84% Jan Dhan accounts in January 2018.

In August last year, the NDA government has made several changes in Jan Dhan Yojana to make it more popular among the poor and rural people. The Overdraft facility was enhanced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per account and Jan Dhan account holders were allowed to unconditionally avail the OD facility of Rs 2,000 per account.

The government has also increased the amount of in-built insurance coverage for over 27 crore RuPay Debit Cards issued under the scheme from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per account holder.