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Micro-insurance coverage planned for over 40Cr Jan Dhan beneficiaries

With around 40.35 crore beneficiaries now covered under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the Centre now plans to get the account holders covered under micro-insurance schemes PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and PM Surakhsha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).

The announcement comes on the sixth anniversary of the PMJDY, the NDA government's flagship scheme for financial inclusion. On the road ahead for the scheme, a Finance Ministry statement said that the government will "endeavour to ensure coverage of PMJDY account holders under micro insurance schemes".

It noted that eligible PMJDY account holders will be sought to be covered under PMJJBY and PMSBY and banks have already communicated about the same. The PMJJBY is available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 years having a bank account. The life cover of Rs 2 lakh shall be for one year period and will be renewable. Risk coverage under this scheme is for Rs 2 lakh in case of death of the insured, due to any reason. The premium is Rs 330 per annum which is to be auto-debited in one installment from the subscriber's bank account.

On the other hand, PMSBY is available to people in the age group 18 to 70 years. The risk coverage under the scheme is Rs 2 lakh for accidental death and full disability and Rs 1 lakh for partial disability. The premium of Rs 12 per annum is to be deducted from the account holder's bank account through 'auto-debit'.

Going ahead, the government will also promote digital payments, including RuPay debit card usage amongst PMJDY account holders through creation of acceptance infrastructure across India, as per the official statement. It also noted that improving access of PMJDY account holders to micro-credit and micro investment such as flexi-recurring deposit among others would be emphasised going ahead.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana launched in 2014 was aimed at banking the unbanked by opening basic savings bank deposit accounts with minimal paperwork, relaxed KYC, zero balance and zero charges. The government decided to extend the comprehensive PMJDY program beyond August 28, 2018 with some modifications.

As per the Centre as on August 19, 2020, a total of 40.35 crore accounts have been opened with 63.6 per cent accounts being rural accounts and women beneficiaries accounting for 55.2 per cent of the total beneficiaries.

Noting the significance of the scheme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has been the foundation stone for the Modi government's people-centric economic initiatives. Whether it is direct benefit transfers, COVID-19 financial assistance, PM-KISAN, increased wages under MGNREGA, life and health insurance cover, the first step was to provide every adult with a bank account, which PMJDY has nearly completed." she said.