1.65 lakh account holders avail Jan Dhan overdraft facility

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Nearly 1.65 lakh Jan Dhan account holders, of the total 18 crore accounts opened under the scheme, have availed overdraft facility, authorities said on Friday.

The government also announced that the focus of the Jan Dhan financial inclusion scheme has moved from account opening towards the provision of cash-out facilities.

Over Rs.22,000 crore have been mobilised under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and 15.74 crore Rupay debit cards have been issued, a finance ministry statement here said.

“Now, the focus of PMJDY has moved from account opening to the provision of cash-out facilities at an approachable distance to reap the real benefits of PMJDY,” it said.

Banks have been directed to disburse overdraft facility up to Rs.5,000 under PMJDY, while the Aadhaar number is not mandatory for availing this, it added.

“In this regard, Indian Banks Association (IBA) has been asked to issue revised guidelines to all banks. Overdraft facility has been availed by 1,64,962 account holders as on September 1, 2015,” the ministry said.

To service the cash-out facility, there are nearly 126,000 branches of scheduled commercial banks as on March 2015, of which 48,557 are in rural areas, the statement said.

These banks have over 1.84 lakh ATMs as on June 2015. In 2014-15, 8,227 branches and 21,197 ATMs were joined to the network, it added.

Besides, the limit for cash withdrawal for debit cards and open system prepaid cards issued by banks has been doubled to Rs.2,000 per day in Tier III to Tier VI centres.

“The achievement under PMJDY is heading towards saturation. Initial demand for bank accounts was expected to be around 7.5 crore. However, so far close to 18 crore accounts have been opened,” the government said.

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