Jan Dhan scheme to help poor open bank accounts: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ to help the poor open bank accounts which will come with the facility of a debit card and an insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh. “We want to integrate the poorest of the poor with bank accounts with Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana,” he said in his maiden Independence Day address to the nation. Observing that people have mobile phones but not bank accounts, Modi said, the scheme will help in bringing the benefits of formal banking system to them.

“Today there are crores of families which have mobile phones but no bank accounts. We have to change this. The economic development must benefit poor and it should start from here,” he said. Under the Jan Dhan Yojana, he said, “the person who will open bank account will get a debit card and the family will get Rs. 1 lakh insurance cover. This will help the family to tide over the unforeseen eventuality.”

The Union Cabinet has already cleared the two-phase financial inclusion scheme under which bank accounts will be opened for 15 crore poor persons with an overdraft facility of Rs 5,000 and accident insurance of Rs. 1 lakh. The scheme, to be pushed by the government in a mission mode, seeks to provide two accounts to 7.5 crore identified households by August 2018.

The main features of the scheme include Rs. 5,000 overdraft facility for Aadhar—linked accounts, Ru Pay Debit Card with inbuilt Rs. 1 lakh accident insurance cover and minimum monthly renumeration of Rs. 5,000 to business correspondents who will provide the last link between the account holders and the bank.

Caste, communal violence stalls progress, says Modi

Modi asked the nation to eschew caste or communal violence as stalled the growth of the nation. “Let us affirm that we will be free from these tensions,” Narendra Modi said. Earlier, he had arrived at the Red Fort and hoisted the National Flag from there. In the course of his speech, he tried to address a wide-range of issues before the nation.

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