Women hold over 50% of Jan Dhan a/cs

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY -

TIMES New Delhi: In what marks a boost for fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion, more than half of PM Jan Dhan Yo­jna ac­count-hold­ers are women and they are also car­ry­ing out trans­ac­tions rather than merely open­ing ac­counts, a sam­ple sur­vey by a fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion con­sult­ing firm has in­di­cated.

The “State of the Agent Net­work 2017” re­port re­leased by Mi­crosave on Wed­nes­day found that there has been a more than 200% in­crease in vol­umes of cashin, cash-out be­tween 2015 and 2017. The Modi gov­ern­ment’s drive to en­cour­age open­ing of these ac­counts was to of­fer bank­ing ser­vices to the poor for more re­li­able trans­fer of gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits and to en­able the less well off to avail credit or loans.

The trans­ac­tions are in- creas­ing as the bank agents or busi­ness cor­re­spon­dents of­fer more prod­ucts and ser­vices such as link­ing of Aad­haar to bank ac­counts, in­sur­ance reg­is­tra­tion and bal­ance in­quiry. More­over, gov­ern­ment-to-peo­ple pay­ments such as di­rect trans­fer of cash, has led to in­crease in trans­ac­tions. Aad­har link­age and mo­bile use are key el­e­ments in the in­clu­sion scheme.

Banks ap­point en­ti­ties and in­di­vid­u­als as agents for pro­vid­ing ba­sic bank­ing ser­vices in re­mote ar­eas where they can’t prac­ti­cally start a branch.

Re­leas­ing the agent net­work re­port, chief eco­nomic ad­vi­sor Arvind Subra­ma­nian said while In­dia has made a lot of progress on the fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion front, gaps re­main. “You have gas cylin­ders but you need con­sis­tent gas off­take; you have bank ac­counts but you need to make gen­uine in­clu­sion; your toi­lets are built, but are they used? I think that’s the next stage we need to work on....That is why, the bank­ing cor­re­spon­dents story needs more work,” he said.

The re­port has rec­om­mended the need to take steps to in­crease the share of women agents from the present of only 2%, which could give a fil­lip to the fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion of women. The re­port is based on a na­tion­wide rep­re­sen­ta­tive re­search that cov­ered 3,048 busi­nesses cor­re­spon­dents.

STORY JUGGI BHASIN

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