Describing the launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY’) an ambitious plan for financial inclusion, the Minister for Finance & Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, while launching the plan in J&K, said that PMJDY is going to be an important milestone for the financial inclusion, financial literacy and ongoing Swabhiman campaigns in the state. The launch of PMJDY in India was announced by the Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech.
Speaking at a function held at SKICC, Srinagar Thursday afternoon to kick start PMJDY in J&K State, Rather said, “This programme is a timely step in the right direction for overall economic upliftment of the entire nation in which all its people shall be joining in the efforts of nation building and in turn, in reaping the consequential benefits.” He assured to provide all the facilitating support for successful implementation of this programme in the state hoping that banks and financial institutions functioning in J&K state will leave no stone unturned to ensure to remain in the lead as far as implementation of this programme is concerned.
Rather was Chief Guest on the occasion whereas the Union Minister of State for Science & Technology in the PMOs office, Dr. Jitendra Singh was Guest of Honour.
Rather said, “All commercial banks, led by our own J&K Bank have completed 100% coverage of the targeted unbanked villages with a population of 2000 and above, well within the prescribed time limits and have so far opened 4.28 lakh new accounts in these 795 villages under the first phase of the Swabhiman campaign. Under the second phase of the campaign, most of the banks have so far covered around or over 80% of their assigned targets of 5582 unbanked villages with population below 2000 persons.” He said the targets are required to be met by the end of the current fiscal and exuded confidence that the financial institutions and other commercial banks working in the state will in a befitting manner deal with the new responsibilities coming up under the PMJDY. He said the new scheme mainly focuses on shifting from providing a bank branch to an unbanked village to a much heavier assignment of providing a bank account to every household of the urban and rural areas besides, providing another bank account to a lady member of each household in the second phase.
“As an immediate advantage to the account holders, the scheme has been imaginatively linked to a personal accident cover of Rs 1 lakh and in case of satisfactory running of the account, to a further benefit of a suitable overdraft facility,’’ Rather said adding that on opening of a basic banking account, a RuPaydebit card with an inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh is proposed to be provided to the account holders.
Rather said it is estimated that at present, nearly 40 per cent of the country comprising of 7.5 crore households do not have access to financial services. Accordingly, the PM’s initiative to increase the level of financial inclusion is highly welcomed. He said in respect of financial services, an equal participative effort is needed from the community members.
Speaking On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh said, “Launching of PMJDY is a historic movement for the whole country as this program assumes significant importance in the present day age of Science & Economy.” He said it is a right decision to ensure economic empowerment of the people especially living in peripheral regions and asked all the stake holders to join hands to make this campaign a grand success.
The Chairman of the J&K Bank while highlighting the importance of PMJDY said that it will go a long way in ensuring financial inclusions, which was imperative for inclusive growth and economic prosperity. He said JK Bank has taken a lot of initiatives to reach out to people living in unbanked areas of the state.
On this occasion as many as 30 new bank accounts were opened in favour of the people living in remote and backward areas.
Member Parliament, Jugal Kishore, Chief Secretary, Iqbal khanday, Principal Secretary, Planning & Development, BR Sharma, Principal Secretary Finance, BB Vyas, Chairman J&K Bank, who is also convenor to State Level Bankers Committee(SLBC), Mushtaq Ahmad, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Rohit Kansal, District Development Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Shah, President SLBC, SL Bhat , MD, JKSFC, Farooq Thoker, and representatives of various banking and financial institutions were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile the same plan was launched in Pulwama and Islamabad by Rajya Sabha Member Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri.