The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressing the Nation on the occasion of 71st Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, in 2017. (Source: PIB)

Modi May Push For Financial Inclusion On Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce benefits for about 32 crore Jan Dhan account holders in his Independence Day address this week, providing a boost to the government's financial inclusion drive, official sources said.

There could be a doubling the overdraft facility to Rs 10,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts as part of the government's effort to fund the unfunded, they said.

The government may also announce attractive micro insurance scheme on the occasion, added the source. The free accident cover under the RuPay Card holders could be increased from Rs 1 lakh.

Phase II of PMJDY will come to an end on August 15 and the scheme would be due for a revamp with further goals, the sources said, adding that the Prime Minister's Independence Day speech would be the best platform to make announcement.

Also read: 30 Crore Families Got Jan Dhan Accounts In 3 Years: Arun Jaitley

PMJDY, the flagship financial inclusion drive, was launched in August 2014. The first phase ended on August 14, 2015 and was focussed on opening basic bank accounts and RuPay debit card.

32.25 crore PMJDY accounts have been opened over the last 4 years with Rs 80,674.82 crore outstanding balance.

In addition, the government may raise the pension limit under Atal Pension Yojana (APY), announced in 2015-16, to up to Rs 10,000 per month from the existing slab of up to Rs 5,000.

Also read: Aadhaar Must To Avail Govt Co-contribution Under Atal Pension Yojana

In order to address the longevity risks among the workers in the unorganised sector, and encourage them to voluntarily save for retirement, the government had started the Swavalamban Scheme in 2010-11.

However, coverage under Swavalamban Scheme is inadequate mainly due to lack of clarity of pension benefits.

The APY was focussed on all citizens in the unorganised sector, who would join the National Pension System (NPS) administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme.

Under the APY, the subscribers would receive the pension of Rs 1,000-5,000 per month at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions.