On the completion of first year of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), CII organized the Financial Inclusion Summit to deliberate on the big opportunity presented by the progress in financial inclusion under the present Government.
Speaking at the Summit,Janmejaya Sinha, Chairman, CII National Committee on Financial Inclusion and Chairman- Asia Pacific, Boston Consulting Group reflected in the last one year financial inclusion has been given a national priority status and is being looked upon as an opportunity rather an obligation.
Lauding the efforts of the Government Sinha said “Financial Inclusion has assumed a far more important role with the much needed regulatory push in the form of issuance of new licenses for payment banks and push for financial literacy.”
Hemant Contractor, Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) while delivering speech he highlighted the importance of expanding the coverage of pension in the country. He mentioned that “the overall coverage of pension in the country was just around 12 – 13 per cent and there was a need to integrate pensions in the Jan Dhan Yojana to strengthen the social security system of the country”.
Further, Mr Contractor outlined the differences between the earlier Swavalamban scheme and the Atal Pension Yojana, stating that necessary improvements in the pension scheme have been made in the form of providing guaranteed pensions.
Alok Pande, Director (Financial Inclusion) and Additional Mission Director- PMJDY, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, highlighted a significant hurdle in financial inclusion was that majority of basic bank accounts opened under the financial inclusion campaign were non-operative zero- balance accounts. The PMJDY has been successful in improving deposits of banks and the non-operative zero balance accounts has declined from 79% to 45%.
Speaking at the CII summit, Arun Tiwari, Chairman & Managing Director, Union Bank of India, commended the government efforts in opening more than 17 crore bank accounts within a year and providing an identity to the people through linking of the Aadhar card and the bank accounts. He also said that “financial inclusion is not only a bilateral responsibility of the government and banks but also of the society.”