When PM Narendra Modi came into power, he talked about banking reforms and stressed on expanding banking sector to people who were not within the mainstream economic fold of India. In 2014, PM Narendra Modi launched the Jan Dhan Yojana, which was basically a huge boost to new zero balance bank accounts. Initially, the Jan Dhan Yojana was very successful as it catered to financial inclusion of the country into a systematic fold and helped the national income and revenue as well. After a year or so of the Jan Dhan Yojana it was thought that the Yojana helped young adults of the country to come into banking fold. But a recent World Bank report has highlighted a different picture of the Indian reality.
The World Bank has remarked that 19 crore Indian adults don’t have bank accounts. In other words, India is the world’s second largest unbanked population after that of China, which is indeed a cause of concern. The latest Global Findex Database released by World Bank has two aspects. On one hand, India’s adult population with a bank account has more than doubled to 80 percent since 2011. The Jan Dhan Yojana brought additional 31 crore Indians into formal banking system since 2011, which is no less achievement by an mean. But 11% of the world’s unbanked adults are in India, which sums to 19 crores altogether. No doubt, huge population growth of India remains one of the primary reasons behind but there is ample food of thought on this. There is no denying the fact that having a bank or mobile money provider is an interesting step towards eradicating poverty. Here in lies the biggest challenge of the present NDA government to include more people in the banking fold.
The partial success of the highly ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana has underlined the fact that government policy plays an important in all such initiatives. But inconsistency in government policy hasn’t helped India at all. One cannot forget the controversy with regard to minimum balance requirement which didn’t help the poor people or those living in remote areas. The World Bank Report also explained that almost half of account owners remained inactive in the past year. This definitely calls for serious introspection and not doubt, PM Modi time and again promoting the need to have bank accounts must emphasize upon the negatives vibes regarding Indian public sector banks.