Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) a flagship programme of his government, BJP-ruled states seem to be lagging behind in linking these accounts with Aadhaar — the first step towards enabling direct benefit transfers.
Among the large states which accounted for over 10 lakh Jan Dhan accounts as on November 12, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh top the list, with 65 per cent or more accounts already being linked to the beneficiaries’ Aadhaar details. No BJP-ruled state comes in the list of top five states, barring Maharashtra, where the party just came to power.
Instead, the BJP-ruled states are among the worst. While only 9.8 per cent of the Jan Dhan accounts were integrated with Aadhaar in Chhattisgarh, the figure stood at 22.1 per cent in Gujarat, 34.3 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 39.6 per cent in Rajasthan. Only Goa has completed Aadhaar seeding of over 55 per cent.
In the two states which recorded the maximum number of Jan Dhan accounts — Uttar Pradesh (1.25 crore) and West Bengal (54 lakh), the accounts linked to Aadhaar add up to just 10.7 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively. In Bihar, where 47 lakh accounts have been opened, the figure stands at 8.4 per cent.
Experts feel that while the government has done a good job in getting the accounts opened, the linkage of bank accounts with identifiers like Aadhaar is important.
“Getting a bank account is just one step, you have to get your Aadhaar number seeded in your core banking system and then in a mapper that links the bank account to Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) and Aadhaar,” said an expert who did not wish to be named. He added that the Finance Ministry was laying stress on getting everything digitised and integrated.
Since its launch in August-end, over 7.3 crore Jan Dhan accounts have been opened, of which 2.3 crore accounts (31.4 per cent) have already been linked with Aadhaar.
A government official confirmed that besides Jan Dhan, other accounts too have been integrated with Aadhaar. The total number of Aadhaar- linked bank accounts stands at around 9 crore. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has, however, issued over 70 crore Aadhaar numbers till date.
Under the Jan Dhan Yojana, the government has said that other than ensuring financial inclusion of all households, it also envisages, “channeling all government benefits to the beneficiaries’ accounts and pushing the DBT scheme.”