Financial Inclusion and Jan Dhan Accounts

December 16, 2015
Financial Inclusion and Jan Dhan A/Cs
This refers to the encouraging report card on Jan Dhan (Economic Times, Over 19 cr A/Cs Opened under Jan Dhan, December 16). The effort to increase the outreach of financial inclusion by packaging Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), life insurance cover (though the cover is too low at rs30,000) and RuPay card is commendable and needs proactive cooperation from all financial institutions including banks in the cooperative and private sectors. Needless to mention that there would be several overlaps, double-counting and some ‘misuse’ of facilities, as the noble intention and the enthusiasm with which public sector banks have supported the efforts outweighs the negatives.
Centre should support PSBs to improve their manpower and skills for coping with the increasing burden arising from opening more than 19 crores of accounts on their books in a period just over one year. 19 crore accounts plus the incremental number of accounts @2 lakhs every day can end up in diverting manpower and resources from crucial areas like appraisal and follow up of  credit, where PSBs are already lagging behind their private sector counterparts. Banking is a sector in which technology can speed up several operations, credit appraisal and follow up of disbursed credit for monitoring health of assets created and ensuring timely recovery machines or software can do precious little.



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