The biggest problem in rural India with concerns of finances is that they do not have the financial stability to maintain a bank account which requires some service fees and a minimum balance account. With the other concerns related to proper documents, these people might not even know their date of birth. So, how do these people open or maintain a bank account. The answer is Zero Balance Account through PM Jan Dhan Yojana, launched to aid people who cannot afford a regular savings bank account.
Eligibility for Zero Balance Account through PM Jan Dhan Yojana
The PM Jan Dhan Yojana eligibility criteria are as follows:
- The individual requires to be an Indian citizen.
- The applicant has to be over the age of 10 years.
- Take whatever personal documents available, such as Voter ID, ration card or whatever is available.
How to open Zero Balance Account?
- The applicant simply need to go to their nearest bank.
- Submit whatever documents he/she could best afford and consult the bank officials.
- Once the account is opened, they would be issued with a RuPay debit card, which they can use for normal transactions, which is equivalent to a saving account debit card.
Benefits & Features of Zero Balance Account
The current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as of December 23, 2015 is said to have great intentions through this prestigious scheme for Indians. He wants every individual living in the country enjoy a Zero Balance Account under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. It is however an unfortunate situation that a country with a population of more than 125 crores has only 60% of its population with the necessity of their own bank account. It is essential that since India is rapidly making economic progresses. The Government has set a target to open at least one zero balance account for every of 75 million homes in India.
Some of its salient benefits & features of PMJDY include:
- Members up to two of the family can apply for a zero balance account under
- You can deposit and withdraw money for free.
- You also get to check your balance, just like in any other savings account and also enjoy through the RuPay debit card.
- Funds can be transferred for free without any charges.
- The account also comes with mobile banking facility, free of any charges.
- You can also receive Mini statements.
- You get the major advantage of being financially literate with the help of literacy programs under this scheme.
- You even get a free life cover of Rs 30,000 along with an accidental cover of Rs 1 lakh per account.
- Along with opening the account with zero balance and above mentioned facilities, the scheme further facilitates needy sections of the society by making them open a saving account even if they do not have sufficient required documents in the form of ‘Small Accounts’.
Objective of initiative
The objective of Zero Balance Account through PM Jan Dhan Yojana is to allow people to have at least a bank account wherein they can pool in the daily/monthly saving and avail the basic benefits and services of banking products.
It is said that a country can only develop inside out when every member of its population is financially secure and stable. PM Jan Dhan Yojana intends for the same vision and has been working well for a lot of account holders after the scheme was launched.
Illiterate people can get the account opened and use RuPay Debit Cards. Bank officials would educate illiterate customers about the usage of the account and RuPay Debit card. For assistance of each account holder, bank officials are to be ready to aid these people and educate them.
Perks of Zero-Balance Jan Dhan account
Ever since the announcement of demonetization on November 8th, 2016, by Prime Minister Modi, the country has been witnessing a number of promises, the upside and the downfalls of the scheme. It was also reported that the government was planning to deposit an amount of Rs.10,000 in every zero-balance Jan Dhan account in the country. It has been accounted that there are close to 5.86 crore zero-balance accounts, which seems like a steep amount to be contributed by the Government. Furthermore, PM Modi said Rs.15 lakh would be given to every bank account if black money was overcome completely.
It is now being reported from reliable sources that such claims cannot work and are simply not feasible. Crunching numbers, sources at the PMJDY scheme office have concluded that they already provide Rs.30,000 insurance cover in case of natural death and Rs.1 lakh for accidental death. The additional Rs.10,000 will not be possible as calculations estimate a total of 25.21 crore Jan Dhan accounts - out of which 23.27% are at zero balance. This amounts to 5.86% zero-balance accounts. According to PM Modi’s promise, this will amount to Rs.58,600 crore contribution to these accounts which is not an easy task and can also be directed to other schemes such as the One-Rank-One-Position scheme. To sum it up, though expectations are high, the scheme is highly unlikely to materialize.
Contribution of Banks to reduce Zero-Balance Accounts
An investigation led by Indian Express revealed a shocker to the public regarding PM Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojana scheme. After the announcement of the demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes on 8th November 2016, Modi said that once the black money was in the banks, he would deposit Rs.10,000 in every zero-balance Jan Dhan account in the country. But reports now reveal that banking officials have deliberately been depositing Re.1 into these accounts. Further digging provides reasons behind this act. Simply put, if there are crores of Jan Dhan bank accounts that have zero balance, this means the scheme is not working. Therefore, bank officials are pressured to show a lower number of zero-balance accounts.
The Re.1 deposit is a contribution made out of their own funds. Re.1 upto Rs.10 has been deposited from various segments of banking income, such as entertainment allowance, canteen subsidy, office maintenance fund, fees obtained from demand drafts and online transfers and conveyance allowance.
Reports have suggested that half of the Jan Dhan accounts, mostly held by less privileged people, have a zero balance. This does not indicate that the scheme is a failure. It points out the fact that banks need more time to get more people under the financially included wing.
Around 1.05 crore Jan Dhan account of 18 public sector banks and 16 of their rural subsidiaries had Re.1 balance. In some cases, it was Rs.2 or Rs.5. After banks indulged in this method, the zero balance accounts fell from 76% in September 2014 to 46% in August 2015. It fell further to 24.35% by the end of August 2016.
The pressure on the banks to portray that the Jan Dhan scheme is working is immense and has resulted in a false appearance of the success of the scheme. Jan Dhan Acount benefits for the underprivileged and rural sector of the country, but the implementation seems to be straying away from the objective of the scheme.
Toll-free number for Jan Dhan Yojana
For any queries regarding the Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojana, you can call the following national toll-free numbers:
1800 11 0001
1800 180 1111
1.How is PMJDY different from the earlier Financial Inclusion Plan (Swabhimaan)?
The previous plan focused on coverage of villages while the PMJDY focuses on coverage of households. The focus of this scheme is to cover rural as well as urban areas which is a betterment from the previous plan which targeted only villages above 2,000 population. Under PMJDY, banking facilities will be provided across the country with an aim to cover 1,000 -1,500 households. Under this plan, one of the objectives is to make banking facilities available to all within a reasonable distance of about 5 kilometer.
2.Where can I open a Jan Dhan account?
A Jan Dhan account can be opened at any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitra) outlet.
3.Will I receive a cheque book with my Jan Dhan account opened under PMJDY?
If your account is opened without any initial deposit or minimum balance, then no cheque book will be issued. If you require or wish to have a cheque book, you need to fulfill the minimum balance requirements set out by the bank.
4. Are there any fees charged to open a Jan Dhan account under PMJDY?
From 1st April 2015, Rs.20/- will be charged for opening a bank account under Business Correspondent channel uniformly in all areas.
5.Can a minor (below 18 years of age) can open an account under PMJDY?
Yes, a minor who is at least 10 years old can open an account in any bank under this scheme.