State Bank of India on Friday welcomed the 'Jan-Dhan Yojana' launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said it will give a boost to the government's ambitious financial inclusion drive.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his maiden Independence Day speech today said, "We want to integrate the poorest of the poor with bank accounts with 'Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana'."
Under the scheme, the person who will open bank account will get a debit card and the family will get Rs 1 lakh insurance cover to tide over any unforeseen eventuality. "The magnitude of challenge under financial inclusion can be gathered from the fact that only 58.7 % of the households in the country have access to banking services. In this background, the launch of the 'Jan-Dhan' scheme is a welcome step," SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said.
The Prime Minister said people in the country have mobile phones but do not have bank accounts, and this scenario needs to be changed.
Bhattacharya further said with the rapid financial inclusion, the usage of cash will decline in the country in line with the developed countries such as the United Kingdom (2 %), Australia (3 %) and Japan (6 %) going forward.
"The positive spill over from this structural transformation in the long-run will be enormous. This apart, the move towards digital India will make good use of cost- effective cellular technology in future banking growth," Bhattacharya noted.
It could be noted that the Union Cabinet has already cleared the two-phase financial inclusion scheme under which bank accounts will be opened for 15 crore poor people with an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000 and accident insurance of Rs 1 lakh.