Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) announced in March 2020, an amount of Rs. 500 per month was transferred to all women PM Jan Dhan account Yojana account holders for a period of three months. Here is a review of the numbers.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is a nationwide social security scheme launched by the Government of India in August 2014 to ensure the financial inclusion of every individual who does not have a bank account. The objective of the scheme is to ensure access to various financial services like availability of basic savings and deposit bank account, access to need-based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension to the weaker sections and low-income groups, in an affordable manner.
Ex-gratia payment of Rs. 500 per month was deposited in the accounts of women PMJDY account holders during the lockdown
A few days into the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Finance Ministry on 26 March 2020 announced the Rs.1.7 Lakh crore COVID-19 Relief Package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The package included several measures to mitigate the impact of the nationwide lockdown on vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of society including women, senior citizens, disabled, and poor persons. Under PMGKY, the ministry had announced that about 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders would be given Rs. 500 per month for the next three calendar months. That is, an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 500 per month was to be deposited in the accounts of women PMJDY account holders, during the months of April, May, and June 2020. The target was to cover around 20.4 crore women beneficiaries each month.
Rs. 30,975 crores have been credited in the accounts of over 20.65 crore Women Jan Dhan account holders under PMGKY
According to the progress report released by the Finance Ministry as of 02 June 2020, the government stated that over Rs. 10,029 crore was credited to 20.05 crore women Jan Dhan account holders as the first installment, that is, the deposit for the month of April 2020. This accounted for 98.33% of women Jan Dhan account holders. Further, Rs. 10,315 crores was credited to 20.62 crore women Jan Dhan account holders covering 100% of the women Jan Dhan account holders then, as the second installment or the deposit for the month of May 2020.
The government also mentioned that the number of women PMJDY accounts holders whose accounts had been debited by customer induced transaction under the first instalment was 8.72 crore (44%) and that under the second instalment was 9.7 crore (47%). The government stated in the parliament in March 2021 that a total of Rs. 30,975 crores have been credited in the accounts of 20.65 crore women PMJDY account holders over the three instalments. However, the number of beneficiaries of the third instalment has not been specified separately.
Three states account for 37% of the total women beneficiaries under PMGKY
State-wise data based on Lok Sabha response from March 2021 shows that Uttar Pradesh accounted for the greatest number of beneficiaries with over 3.18 crore women whose accounts were deposited with Rs. 500 under PMGKY. Bihar had the second-highest number of beneficiaries with over 2.33 crore women followed by West Bengal with close to 1.9 crore women beneficiaries. Together, the three states account for 37% of the total number of beneficiaries in the country. These states also accounted for around 38% of all the PMJDY accounts in the country as of January 2021.
A total of six states had more than 1 crore beneficiaries each, accounting for 59.5% of the total beneficiaries. 21 states with more than 1 lakh women beneficiaries each, contributed to 98.7% of all the beneficiaries.
87% of the women Jan Dhan account holders (as of January 2021) have benefited from PMGKY
On average, about 87% of the women Jan Dhan account holders have benefited from PMGKY. It should be noted that the number of Jan Dhan account holders changes every day as new accounts get opened and existing accounts get closed. Hence the coverage has been calculated as the percentage of women Jan Dhan account holders as of January 2021. This data was shared by the government in the parliament.
According to state-wise PMJDY data as of 27 January 2021, there were over 23.12 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders. As of March 2020, there was a total of 38.33 crore Jan Dhan accounts in the country and 20.5 crores of these accounts, around 53.5%, were held by women. As of 03 March 2021, the total number of Jan Dhan accounts increased to 41.97 crores of which 23.25 crore accounts, about 55.4% were held by women. The latest PMJDY progress report as of 15 September 2021 shows that the total number of beneficiaries under PMDJY was 43.41 crores and 55.5% of them, around 24.11 crore accounts were held by women.
Among large states, coverage was the highest in Karnataka and lowest in Maharashtra
As mentioned earlier, State-wise coverage is calculated as the ratio of the number of PMGKY beneficiaries and the number of women PMJDY account holders as of January 2021. Among all the states & UTs, the coverage was more than 100% only in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This could be because individuals could have closed their accounts after the amount under PMGKY was transferred. Karnataka and Sikkim were the only states with more than 95% coverage under PMGKY. On the other hand, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh recorded coverage of 78.5% and 75.6% respectively. Mizoram had the least coverage of 35.5%.
It is observed that the Southern states had greater coverage as compared to that of other regions. The coverage was above 90% in four of the southern states- Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh while Kerala had a coverage of 87%. Meanwhile, the state of Uttar Pradesh which had the greatest number of beneficiaries under PMGKY has a coverage of only 82.3%. Maharashtra is the only large state which has a coverage below that of UP, with 80.5%. This low coverage in some of these states could be because of the increase in the number of women Jan Dhan account holders post the government’s deposit scheme. (The coverage was calculated using January 2021 data while the transfer of money took place between April to June 2020).
Women Jan Dhan account holders may have increased in certain states post government’s deposit scheme
National-level data shows that the number of women Jan Dhan account holders has gone up from 20.5 crores in March 2020 to 24.11 crores as of 15 September 2021, an increase of 17.6% in 18 months. During the same period, the total number of Jan Dhan accounts have increased from 38.33 crores in March 2020 to 43.41 crore accounts as of 15 September 2021, an increase of 13.3%. On the other hand, the number of male account holders has increased from 17.83 crores in March 2020 to 19.25 crores on 15 September 2021- an increase of just 8%. In other words, the number of women accounts holders in these 18 months has grown at twice the rate of male account holders.
The coverage data indicates is that the increase in women Jan Dhan account holders may be concentrated in some states such as Mizoram, Meghalaya, HP, UP, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, West Bengal Odisha, Bihar, Punjab, etc. where the coverage was found to be low when compared with January 2021 data.