MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank today said banks, mostly state-run ones, opened a whopping 19.52 crore accounts under the government's financial inclusion drive till the first week of December.
"As on December 9, 2015, 195.2 million accounts have been opened and 166.7 million RuPay debit cards have been issued under the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana, which was launched on August 28, 2014," the central bank said in its half-yearly report on the operations and performance of scheduled commercial banks.
The report said most of these accounts are in rural areas, thus considerably increasing banking penetration, and a significant number of banking outlets -- a whopping 91 per cent -- operate in branchless mode via business correspondents or facilitators.
To further strengthen financial inclusion drive and raise penetration of insurance and pension coverage, the government launched social security and insurance schemes -- Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and the Atal Pension Yojana in May 2015.
The RBI report said as many as 92.6 million beneficiaries have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and 29.2 million have been enrolled under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, while 1.3 million account holders have been enrolled under Atal Pension Yojana, as of December 16, 2015.
The report also said the number of debit cards is much higher than credit cards. While in 2012, there were 6.3 credit cards for every 100 debit cards, the number declined to 3.8 in 2015.
State-run banks, which command over 72.3 per cent of market share, maintained a lead over private sector and foreign banks in issuing debit cards.
As on March 31, 2015 around 83 per cent of debit cards were issued by state-run banks, while around 80 per cent credit cards have issued by private sector banks (57.2 per cent) and foreign banks (22.4 per cent).