New Delhi: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, declared the beginning of the end of financial untouchability in India, with the opening of an estimated 1.5 crore bank accounts across the country, in an exercise unprecedented in scale in economic history.
Formally launching the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) at a function in New Delhi, the Prime Minister described the occasion as a festival to celebrate the liberation of the poor from a poisonous cycle.
Expressing satisfaction at a number of records being broken today, the Prime Minister said the nationwide success of the enrolment drive today would give confidence not just to the officials of the Department of Financial Services and banking sectors, but also to officers across the Union Government, that they can successfully achieve the goals that they set for themselves.
"Never before would insurance companies have issued 1.5 crore accident insurance policies in a single day. Never before in economic history would 1.5 crore bank accounts have been opened in a single day. Never before has the Government of India organized a programme of such scale – over 77,000 locations – with the participation of so many Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, Government and bank officials." He said the success is an inspiration for achieving new heights.
The Prime Minister said that though the initial target of PMJDY was to open bank accounts for 7.5 crore families in one year, he had exhorted the concerned officials to complete the task before the next Republic Day.
He said this was not a mere bank account, but had other benefits including an RuPay debit card, Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover, and an additional Rs. 30,000/- life insurance cover for those opening bank accounts before January 26th, 2015. He said the account performance would be monitored and overdraft facility would be given. The Prime Minister said he had sent 7.25 lakh bank employees, exhorting them to help reach the target of 7.5 crore bank accounts, and bring freedom from financial untouchability.
The Prime Minister referred to the five beneficiary couples who had received account opening kits in today`s event at Vigyan Bhawan, and said the ladies appeared to have dressed for a festival. He said they knew that there could be no bigger festival than the opening of a bank account for empowering women.