Noting that the “disability” of a sizeable number of population being bereft of a bank account was the main factor hindering all development activities, Prime Minister Nareandra Modi exhorted bank officers to “put their shoulder to the wheel” and ensure that no household in the country is left without a bank account.
In an email to all bank officials ahead of the August 28 nationwide launch of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), or the National Mission on Financial Inclusion, Modi said, "We need to enroll over 7 crore households and open their accounts. This is a national priority and we must rise to meet this challenge.”
He said as a first step, under the PMJDY, every account holder gets a RuPay debit card with a R1 lakh accident cover. "As we go along, they will be covered by insurance and pension products," Modi added.
He said the PMJDY lies at the core of the NDA government's development philosophy of sab ka sath sab ka vikas. “As we move rapidly forward in this knowledge era with modern banking and financial systems, it is untenable that a large majority of our population is deprived of basic banking facilities,” he said.
Modi said he wonders whether matters have been so complicated that the poor and the marginalised are trapped in a perpetual cycle of exclusion and deprivation. “We need to break that cycle and the Jan Dhan Yojana is the first step in that direction. With a bank account, every household gains access to banking and credit facilities. This will enable them to come out of the grip of moneylenders, manage to keep away from financial crises and most importantly, benefit from a range of financial products," he said.