Jan Dhan: bankers cross account opening targets on Day 1

Use of debit cards will allow unbanked to start building a transaction history: SBI chief

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:27 pm IST

Published - August 28, 2014 10:58 pm IST - MUMBAI:

People queue up in large numbers at a bank to open Jan Dhan accounts after its launch in Patiala on Thursday.

People queue up in large numbers at a bank to open Jan Dhan accounts after its launch in Patiala on Thursday.

Bankers have hailed the Prime Minister’s call to end ‘financial untouchability’, and opened millions of accounts on the inaugural day itself.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’, aimed at bringing more people — 7.5 crore households by 2017-18 — under the banking fold.

State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, said it had already opened 20 lakh basic savings accounts since August 16, and the top management was on the field, supervising the account opening process.

“Banks are fully geared up to universalise banking access and financial inclusion under the Jan Dhan Yojana,” SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said. The use of debit cards would allow the unbanked to start building a transaction history, which could be a decisive step in initiating them towards financial inclusion. The scheme would also help the banks for better product designing and targeting, she added.

State-run IDBI Bank said it opened 3.62 lakh basic bank accounts as against the target of two lakh under the scheme.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said 7.5 crore accounts would be opened by January 25 next and 1.5 crore of these were opened on the first day itself.

ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender, said it had opened one lakh accounts and planned to cross the two-crore mark by the end of the fiscal.

A senior official from state-run Bank of India said it had opened six lakh accounts on Thursday, while another public-sector lender Union Bank had opened 5.50 lakh accounts against the target of two lakh accounts.

Similarly, Dena Bank said it opened over three lakh basic accounts.

Bank of Maharashtra, which has been given the lead bank status for Maharashtra, said it would open 2.9 lakh basic accounts by the end of the day on Thursday.

Experts have been stressing the need to go beyond achieving simple account opening numbers, and generating transactions in these accounts.

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