As on September 7, 2016, 20% accounts under Prime minister’s ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana in the state were maintained with zero balance. It is 5% less than the national average of 24.85% zero balance accounts. Data says that state has 1.86 crore JDY accounts with total balance of Rs 3,390 crore deposited in the banks. It is the third highest amount deposited under this scheme. Uttar Pradesh is leading with Rs 6,811.63 crore followed by West Bengal with Rs 5,787.91crore.
Experts said that the state can reduce the number of zero balance account holders to one-third provided the financial literacy programmes are executed in the rural areas. It is also estimated that another 30-40 lakh JDY accounts in the state have been maintained with a token amount of Re 1 and above. A rough estimate says that 40%-50% accounts in the state are non-functional.
“It also means that half of the total beneficiariesaccount holders are not aware of the financial benefits they can draw out of this scheme.The state has to introduce programmes for financial literacy so that the base of account holders can be expan ded. Secondly, benefits like loan and insurance through this scheme should be publicized regularly,“ said K B Kothari, managing trustee of Pratham NGO.
State’s high outstanding balance also indicates that a large number of financially dependent farmers were getting to know about banking with this scheme.
Among BIMARU states, barring UP , Rajasthan is leading in terms of deposits and number of account holders.
Hindustan News 18/09/2016: http://epaper.livehindustan.com/ .