What are the pros and cons of the Indian Government’s Jan Dhan Yojna?

polity : good governance : What are the pros and cons of the Indian Government's Jan Dhan Yojna -1

Answer by Rohit Shinde:

Before I explain the scheme, I would like to explain its salient features:

  1. It  intends to accomplish the objective of housing for all by providing  basic bank account with a debit card with inbuilt accident insurance.
  2. It includes a Rs. 5000 overdraft facility for Aadhar linked accounts.
  3. RuPay debit card with Rs. 1,00,000 accident insurance cover.
  4. After  remaining active for 6 months the account holder will become eligible  for an overdraft of up to Rs 2,500, which will be further enhanced to  Rs. 5000 over time by the bank.
  5. This  scheme's target is to bring 7.5 crore unbanked families into the  banking fold, by opening 15 crore banking accounts (2 per family).
  6. 60,000 enrolment camps will be held in rural areas to raise awareness regarding the importance of bank accounts.

Now, the reasons why this scheme is important are enlisted below.

Financial Inclusion

In  India, banks were nationalised in 1969. This was done to bring about  financial inclusion. Banks were nationalised to bring about social  development, induce priority sector lending and develop banking habits.

However,  45 years later, we are nowhere near these goals! Almost 68% of the  Indian population is out of the banking system and they depend on  moneylenders for loans. This means, a rich person gets a loan at a  cheaper rate while a poor person living in the village will get a loan  at twice the interest rate from the local moneylender. Here the debt  trap starts, eventually leading to suicides.

This scheme is a mega financial inclusion plan.  If the lowest rung of society cannot get loans at an affordable rate,  how will the country develop? It will provide an insurance cover of Rs.  1,00,000 to crores of people without bank accounts.

If  you look at this map from the World Bank (showing financial  inclusion),  only 35% of adults in India have a bank account. Now, look  at other developed and developing countries.

China-65% adults have a bank account
USA-87% adults have a bank account
Canada-95% adults have a bank account

Out of the BRICS countries, India has the lowest percentage of financial inclusion.

If you see, all developed countries have a high percentage of individuals in the banking system. The benefits are two-fold:

  1. Lesser amount of black money circulates in the economy.
  2. It  is easier to get loans, which help in the development of any economy.  Loans will be used for setting up a business which will in turn generate  jobs.

This is the core  vision behind this scheme. Get the people in the banking system, reduce  their dependence on informal (and tortuous) credit and watch the country  grow.

Agriculture

The poorest people in our country often survive on agriculture. Because of this scheme these people will benefit the most.

If  a farmer wants a loan, he would generally go to a money lender, who  would charge him exorbitant rates. Generally to the tune of 20% or more.  This is simply unaffordable. The interest quickly climbs up leaving the  farmer in debt. This debt then becomes a vicious circle. This leads to  many farmer suicides.

However,  if the same farmer has a bank account, he will get loan from the bank  at less than half the rate. Not only will he have less interest to pay,  he can also save money. One more thing, due to less debt, he might  invest in more productive agricultural technologies, which reduce the  ecological burden on the land.

Economy

Have  you ever wondered why our PDS system are so inefficient? It is due to  lack of accountability. Cash transfers do not induce accountability. You  can never enforce accountability through a cash transfer. However, a  bank account will remedy this. The banking system leaves a trail of  money which can easily be traced.

This  vastly reduces the amount of black money which can circulate in the  economy. These accounts can be used for cash transfers, handing out  subsidies and other stuff. They will minimize leakage and ensure that  subsidies reach beneficiaries.

What are the pros and cons of the Indian Government's Jan Dhan Yojna?

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