Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Sep 16 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that the ‘JAM’ (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) trinity has been a game changer for India, enabling them to take forward financial inclusion in a futuristic format.
“By bringing the financially excluded, by saving pilferage, and disbursing government benefits to genuine beneficiaries, by providing SMS updates to citizens on their bank transactions, the JAM trinity catapulted our banking to a different level altogether,” she said while virtually addressing the inaugural session of ‘MANTHAN’ Conclave being held in Aurangabad.
The Finance Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was clear that financial inclusion is likely to be achieved better without any inconvenience for anybody, by using the JAM trinity.
“JAM trinity is a game changer for a country like India, it was futuristic and touched upon the philosophy of Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas, Sab Ka Vishwas. The objective was to reach the last man in the line, the remotest corners and people in untouched areas and away from the mainstream, without discrimination,” she said.
Sitharaman said that PMJDY accounts helped the government to reach everyone, even if the accounts were zero balance accounts. Even people who hesitated to enter the mainstream were also brought in and given confidence, with opening of their accounts, disbursing of RuPay Cards, and insurance cover.
She added that the financial inclusion brought in by Jan Dhan has stood by during a pandemic as grave as the Covid-19 pandemic. It is because of Jan Dhan that many people and small businesses got collateral-free loans, she said.
Sitharaman noted that Aadhaar linkage has saved the country a lot of pilferage, enabling the government to direct the money to genuine beneficiaries. “Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts gave us an instant KYC benefit. This enabled beneficiaries getting benefits directly into their Jan Dhan and KYC-verified accounts.”
Addressing the gathering, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad highlighted the transformation brought about by the financial inclusion programmes of the government. He also asked bankers to focus on those ‘aspirational districts that are yet to attain financial inclusion target.
Karad also mentioned that decision will be taken to make MUDRA Loan more hassle free and available to those who wanted to start businesses.
Currently, India has a staggering 43.23 crore beneficiary accounts under the PMJDY. The Centre has, in recent years, introduced a series of indigenous platforms to facilitate quick, safe, and equitable banking. For instance, the BHIM UPI application is now a quintessential component of the Indian market. It has also recently launched e-RUPI voucher facility reducing the need of the internet for financial transactions.
The MANTHAN conclave at Aurangabad is aimed at taking forward the government’s goal of financial inclusion through technology.