PM launches Jan Dhan Yojana, calls for end to 'financial untouchability'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the prestigious Jan Dhan Yojana, which aims to provide bank accounts to all, with a call to end 'financial untouchability.'

Modi said the aim is to integrate every Indian to the economic system. To eradicate poverty, the country should together fight 'financial untouchability', he said. Nearly 40% of people in the country are victims of 'financial untouchability' and the aim is to end it, he added.

The Jan Dhan Yojana entails providing a bank account to every Indian family. 1.5 crore accounts were opened on the first day of the project, which is a world record, the Prime Minister said.

Each account holder will be provided with a 'RuPay' debit card and Rs. 1 lakh accident cover.

The major initiative, which is the PM's brainchild, plans to provide accounts to 7.5 crore identified households by January 2015, and will help the government to save billions of rupees on social spending.

Those who join up for the scheme before January 2015 will be paid Rs. 30,000 additional insurance apart from Rs. 1 lakh accident cover, Modi announced.

The four-year program aims to help beat back the endemic corruption affecting almost every level of the bureaucracy, by channeling government welfare and work payments directly into the accounts of individuals rather than through regional and local offices.

The project will be carried out on a mission mode, finance minister Arun Jaitley said.


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