NEW DELHI: In a first, the government has come out with a separate data on the women beneficiaries under its flagship mission Jan Dhan Yojana (JDY). The data reveals that with 50 per cent of the beneficiaries being women the programme has turned out to be a major hit in the direction of women empowerment.
As per data till January 17 this year 30.97 crore JD accounts were opened, of which 16.34 crore were of women. Officials claimed that government may launch more social schemes targeting women in future. JDY was launched in 2014 under the government’s financial inclusion initiative with an aim to include people, especially the poor, into the banking system. With no bank accounts, such people failed to avail various government schemes.Officials said that the separate data identifying the women beneficiaries would help in shaping up more such schemes to benefit them. As per the data, Rs 73,689 crore have been deposited in total 30.97 crore accounts opened under JDY.
Moreover, a breakup of the data also reveals about the rural and urban participation in the financial inclusion scheme. It said that more people from rural or suburban area (18.21 crore) opened accounts than at the urban centres (12.76 crore).The government announced a number of incentives to attract the masses to become part of its financial inclusion drive like interest on deposit in JD accounts, accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh etc. It also made it clear that accounts were of zero balance and there was no minimum balance maintenance requirement. Moreover, the life cover of Rs 30,000 was also added to the benefits. Camps were organised by the banks and people were told that beneficiaries of government schemes would get Direct Benefit Transfer in these accounts. Subsequently, the account holders were also given RuPay cards.
A senior government official said that the women empowerment is at the top of the agenda of the Modi government. The main purpose of the Ujjawala scheme was women empowerment through free connection of LPG cylinders in remote areas. At the recently held global entrepreneurship summit, PM Narendra Modi had said that women’s empowerment was vital to India’s development. He talked about flagship MUDRA Yojana, saying women entrepreneurs have benefited the most from the scheme. MUDRA scheme provides easy finance of up to Rs 1 million to entrepreneurs. He added that since its launch in 2015, over 90 million loans worth Rs 4.28 trillion have been sanctioned. Of these, more than 70 million loans have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs.