A powerful feature of the Consumer Pyramids delivery is its
ability to see the impact of changes in real life. Here we see the
case of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana that aimed to increase the
access of banking services to individuals. The Prime Minister announced
the scheme in his Independence Day speech on 15 August, 2014, from the
iconic Red Fort.
Consumer Pyramids can decipher the impact of the scheme because
it always estimated the proportion of bank account holders and so it
has a measure of this before the scheme was launched.
We find that the Jan Dhan Yojana has made a significant impact
on bank account penetration. In the quarter ended June 2014, 32.5 per
cent of individuals had a bank account. In the next quarter - which is
the very first quarter since the launch of the scheme, the penetration
jumped up to 39.4 per cent. We have never seen such a sharp jump of
seven percentage points during one quarter. By December 2014, the ratio
had risen further to 43.3 per cent. Even this was a substantially high
increase compared to any quarter in the past.
The cumulative increase of about 11 percentage points in bank
account penetration translates into an estimated 139 million additional
bank accounts. This is close to the estimate provided by the government
- that 125 million additional accounts were created between 28th August
2014 and 31st January 2015.
The Jan Dhan Yojana aims at providing basic banking accounts
for saving & remittance and RuPay Debit card with inbuilt accident
insurance cover of RS.1 lakh.
Efforts have been taken in the past to improve financial
inclusion but Jan Dhan Yojana has given an unprecedented thrust in
this direction. This is clearly visible in the Consumer Pyramids data.
From 21.8 per cent in March 2011, the percentage of population
that had a bank account increased to 32.1 per cent by March 2014. This
was because of "Swabhimaan"- a financial security programme that was
launched by the earlier UPA Government in February 2011 to ensure banking
facilities in habitation with a population in excess of 2,000. But the
improvement in bank account penetration in four months following PMJDY
has been greater than what was seen in the last three years(2011-2014).