India's Adult Population With A Bank Account Doubled Since 2011


New Delhi: The World Bank in its Global Findex Database released on April 19 reveals that the country's adult population with a bank account has more than doubled to 80 per cent since 2011. The contribution of Jan Dhan Yojana in this development can be gauged by the fact that while the percentage of adult account holders in India rose from 36 per cent in 2011 to 54 per cent in 2014. It gained pace after the launch of PMJDY. In fact, India's performance in this regard is better than the global numbers which stands at 69 per cent, according to the World Bank data.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was one of the first flagship initiatives undertaken by the Narendra Modi government after it came to power. Targeting financial inclusion, PM Modi in his first Independence Day speech in 2014 had said, "Today there are crores of families which have mobile phones but no bank accounts. We have to change this. The economic development must benefit poor and it should start from here".

While the recent World Bank report is a shot in the arm for PMJDY, there is more to the story. The government may also brag of 'financial inclusion' as the gender gap in account holders has also been mitigated considerably. In India three years ago, men were 20 percentage points more likely than women to have an account. "Today, India's gender gap has shrunk to 6 percentage points thanks to a strong government push to increase account ownership through biometric identification cards," the report said.

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