World Bank chief lauds Modi’s Jan Dhan Yojna

The  World Bank cheif Jim Yong KimNarendra-Modi has lauded India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bolstering India’s efforts to provide financial access to all of its citizens.

According the World Bank report, as of January 2015, nearly 125 million bank accounts had been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna scheme and 49 percent of these accounts are held by women.

The scheme, launched in August 2014, is the Indian national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, Banking/ Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance, Pension in an affordable manner to each and every household in the country. Latest Ministry of Finance statistics show around 150 million accounts are now in use, as of 31 March 2015.

The World Bank chief said Mr Modi’s “strong visionary leadership” has resulted in “an extraordinary effort” towards financial inclusion in the country.

Speaking at a panel discussion, on the sidelines of the annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, held in Mumbai on April 17, he was also effusive in his praise of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan for the large number of accounts opened.

Mr Kim pointed out that this kind of financial service scheme can serve as a bridge out of poverty. He said, “We (the global community) have set a hugely ambitious target of financially including the world’s poor and now we have evidence that we’re making major progress.”

He stressed, “This effort will require many partners – credit card companies, banks, micro credit institutions, the United Nations, foundations, and community leaders. But we can do it, and the payoff will be millions of people lifted out of poverty,”

Other panel participants, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, briefed the audience on the successful efforts of SBI in implementing the scheme across the nation. The World Bank and its coalition partners comprising multilateral agencies, banks, credit unions, card networks, microfinance institutions and telecommunications companies, issued numeric commitments to help promote financial inclusion and achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal financial access by 2020.

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