Mint Explainer: Why Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojana is still a work in progress
- Jan Dhan can potentially herald women’s socio-economic empowerment in India, but it’s still very early days.
“The first step is to provide every adult with a bank account, which PMJDY has nearly completed," says the Ministry of Finance in its recent report on the PM Jan Dhan Yojana. The World Bank still believes only 78% of Indian adults have bank accounts. But, without doubt, the financial-inclusion scheme has been audacious in its sweep, opening 460 million bank accounts over eight years, and can potentially seed a micro-finance culture deep inside India. As a proxy, think of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Only the scale–in sheer numbers–is exponentially higher in India. Indeed, it can be a game-changer for women’s social and economic empowerment in India, as the global experience informs us. But it’s still a long haul, and there are many loose ends to be tied up.