The 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana', an ambitious financial inclusion scheme under which the government intends to provide every household with a bank account and insurance cover, will be launched on August 28 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The scheme, about which Modi made the announcement in his Independence Day speech, will be launched across the country simultaneously amid his emphasis that it lies at the core of "our development philosophy of 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas'".
As a first step, under the scheme, every account holder will get a 'RuPay' debit card with a Rs one lakh accident cover.
"As we go along, they will be covered by insurance and pension products," the Prime Minister said today while announcing the decision about the launch.
Modi, who has sent an email to all bank officers, said bank account for each household is a "national priority" and they should try their best to ensure that no one is left without a bank account.
Describing the task as "gigantic," he said, "We need to enroll over 7 crore households and open their accounts. This is a national priority and we must rise to meet this challenge. There is an urgency to this exercise as all other development activities are hindered by this single disability. I am sure we will overcome this situation collectively."
While the Prime Minister will launch the scheme formally in Delhi, parallel functions will be held at the state level which will be attended by Union ministers, and also at district and sub-district levels. Camps are also to be organised at the branch level.
"As we move rapidly forward in this knowledge era with modern banking and financial systems, it is untenable that a large majority of our population is deprived of basic banking facilities," Modi said, citing reasons behind the scheme.
"I sometimes wonder whether we have made matters so complicated that the poor and the marginalised are those who are trapped in a perpetual cycle of exclusion and deprivation. We need to break that cycle and the Jan Dhan Yojana is the first step in that direction," he said.
With a bank account, every household gains access to banking and credit facilities, Modi said, adding this will enable them to come out of the grip of moneylenders, manage to keep away from financial crises caused by emergent needs, and most importantly, benefit from a range of financial products.
The Prime Minister asked bank officers to "put your shoulder to the wheel and try your level best to ensure that no one is left without a bank account. This itself will be a source of immense satisfaction for you and your teams."
Underlining that the Yojana "lies at the core of our development philosophy of 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas'", Modi said, "I will myself recognise the achievements of the best performing branches...I am confident that you will rise to the occasion and contribute to this national endeavour in significant measure. I am there to support you."
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