19 Nov 2014


A True failed Attempt to Open an Account Under JAN DHAN Yojana & Why I dropped the Idea to open account.

It took more then 50 years to come out of the financial untouchability for the village people as now there seems to be a hope with Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, HOWEVER  scheme has not fully analyzed and hastily started without much deeper analysis of the real need of the people and infrastructure.

Recently I visited my hometown in Madhya Pradesh, where I saw the reality at the ground level in village and some thoughts to improve it.

Does people really know what is Jan Dhan Yojana ? 

- I live in Bangalore and recently heard  PM's speech at Medison Square , USA where our respected PM felt proud to put the figures of Jan Dhan, however when I asked in my Village - Bhounra ( Sehore District of MP) about Jan Dhan they simply said what exactly you are taking about. 99% of the people,  even educated ones , are not aware about this. I really felt sad when my neighbor who are under Below Poverty Line, physically handicapped do not have Bank Account. I wondered who will ask them to open an account. Mr. Modi declared we opened 1 crore account in first day, however people dont know in the villages,who really need the bank account then I figured out that only the city people who live near by bank and do not have the account could have opened the account by Bank to meet the target which added in figure and put in front of media to get applause. 

- In a population of 5000 people  mere there was 100 of people who operate the Bank Account except the students who open an account for the Scholarship Cheques. So with the schemre there should be somebody who should be responsible for making people aware atleast administration.

My True FAILED Attempt To Open An Account - An reality of ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.

- I was on vacation however I could not resist myself to take a lead to atleast help my neighbor to get a Bank Account. From my village the nearest national bank available is 18km away. I was very happy that in Bangalore people prefer private bank like icici, hdfc etc so that we do not have to stand in queue and better customer satisfaction.So I decided lets open a Jan Dhan Account in private bank and I has read in newspaper that private banks have opened these many account and blaw blaw. I read in leading news paper that CEO of ICICI Bank - Mrs Chanda Kochar has extended support for Jan Dhan and same put on its website also.  So I visited ICICI Bank First  and here goes the true conversation 

Incident NO- 1 

ICICI Bank, Branch ASHTA, Sehore District MP
- As soon  as I entered the Bank , branch was closed for lunch Guard stopped me to enter, I said I want to open an account , he allowed me to enter. I talked to Deputy Branch Manager, he behaved  very nicely and given me seat to sit ( Same treatment which we get when we visit to an ICICI Bank in Metro City ) :-) , asked have you brought the KYC,  I said I have to open a Jan Dhan Account, instantly his face was down he directly said Sir we had only 148 forms for Jan Dhan currently we do not have forms for Jan Dhan Yojana. I thought may be he is right asked for his number so that I can come on another fine day, he gave me this no :- 092003911003 I saved and went out.
      I thought bank account forms would have been same so I consulted my banker friend he said forms for opening an account are same. I was shocked to hear that, I tried calling him back and found that number is invalid. Man he just given me wrong number and fooled me.  
      I went back to branch and asked another staff mam forms are same for Jan Dhan regular forms are used - this time in English :-) . She said sir we do not have regular forms also, but then I said when I was ready for regular account you said you can open the account. She was trapped and said how many account you want to open I said 20 account for my all village people, she said I can open only two now, rest you can try in another bank and that also you have to bring the people here itself, if nam on Adhar Card is not full name then we cant...etc....

        I was very sad, frustrated, unhappy to see that I am educated, aware still these people have fooled me how come a normal people would open an account under Jan Dhan. 

Next In between my first visit to ICICI  to second visit I went to HDFC Bank.

Incident NO- 2

HDFC Bank ASHTA Branch, Sehore District

- I went to hdfc bank asked for opening an account he said sir "pahale jo account hamane khole the wahi nahi khul paye he and your village does not come under our ward so we can not open an account. I was shocked to hear that I said you are refusing to open the account do you know the consequences if I complain against you, then he said sir we do not get any benefit from these free account so we do not open in general but you are saying so we would open and at last he was ready. I said If I have to open a regular account you would not have said you are not in our WARD. When I said I want to open 20 account for my village people who are not aware of this yojana so can you send your one of the representative to my village - I will pay for his expense, then bank manager refused we cant do that. People has to come here. And just  two days before when I enquired about opening an account for my mom( REGULAR ACCOUNT), same bank manager said we will send our representative to your village to collect document but he is refusing for Jan Dhan at cost of my personal expense.

These two incident hurted me alot, I found number from net to call Jan Dhan Call Center that bank people are refusing to open the account, he said currently we do not have mechanism to register your complaint. Better you can go to any public sector banks.

When I think from these private bank point of view they might be correct at their level as they are not getting any monetary benefit for opening a Zero Balance Account, So I agree their point but then why are you private bank getting praised in front of media that we are opening Jan Dhan, why the Ministers saying in public speech we have sent the Bank People to your door. For bank people just get away from this false claim and for Ministers you might have send the Bank Manager for two days when you launched the Scheme and that also to the nearby city branch, none of the Bank people have ever visited the Village where is the real need of Financial Inclusion.

Later I went to SBI Bank, saw again the qaueue of more than 200 people, fighting to just enter intor branch , I manager to talk Guard atleast asked him where can I get form, he Showed me a Kiosk just in front of Branch, I got 20 forms and came back to village, while riding I was wondering for a person to deposit/withdraw money has to travel 40km up and down which will cost him 50Rs with a cup of tea and a half day work leave which will cost him again 100Rs.

Rupay Debit Card & Insurance VS Literacy

In my village I have 2G net only I researched for more details yojana in detail and found that  Insurance Cover is only applicable if you have Rupay Debit Card and that also to be used once  in 45 days to get the benefit.

Most of the people who do not have account are either Illiterate so first of all Bank do not issue the Debit Card if he is not able to operate the ATM, second if card is not used then just it is another normal bank account.

Finally I decided not to open an account under Jan Dhan, Why ? 

So Finally I dropped the idea of opening the account under jan dhan yojana as I could see this is not at all useful for my people in the village and in worst case it is bad then normal zero balance accounts.

- A man who earn 200 Rs daily, would have to travel 40KM to deposit the money and withdraw,  he has to stand in queue as SBI queue is Infinitely Long and private banks are not opening the account and he at first Bank is not issuing Rupay Debit Card to illiterate, if he issues also then if he do not use the card for 45 days he would not get any benefit, So what exactly benefit he is getting I am not sure. 

- Only thing left is Overdraft limit that is discretionary power of Bank so I am sure that people would never get that 5000 Rs amount. So I found JAN DHAN Yojana as complete waste and not useful at ground level, only thing is people may get Subsidy credited to their account directly, that they can do in the normal zero balance account also which most of the public bank do at the KIOSK level.

- Under Jan Dhan if you deposit more than 60k or some limit account would automatically freeze, that is an additional side effect or that is worse point.

- I found get an account in Post Office or Co-operative Banks which are there in every villages and get your banking work done, if at all required. In SBI I have many times seen illiterate people pleases to fill the forms and bank people treat them as if they are the king and rest are just slaves.

- I met Indian Bank Kiosk representative i.e. Bank Mirta in my village he open a normal Bank Account for zero Balance Without ATM. His just get the form filled thats all. We can not deposit the money, cant withdraw nothing. So I wondered normal account is better than Jan Dhan Account where account freezes if you deposit more than 50or 60k.   

MY Own Views to make it Better

1. First and most important thing I would say, rather then announcing in USA that we have done this, we have opened these many account, go to village ask your MPs. MLAs, Sarpanch to make the people aware about Yojana itself.

2. In my talluk more then 500 villages are there and only 6-7 banks are there, so per bank 100 villages X 3000 populations, and that is also at an average distance of 15-20KM from the banks, Man this is unrealistic, how come banks would handle if you have really opened the account for all, rather why dont first open an Village Branch, or KIOSK, or atleast make the CO-OPERATIVE BANKS OR POST OFFICE  as modern so that people would be able to get the taste of banking first. 

3. Insurance should not be dependent upon Debit card as most of the people are illiterate and if they have debit card they wont go to 40km to withdraw 100Rs from bank at the cost of 200 to 300 Rs loss.

4.  Have the overdraft limit mandatory for all accounts, it should not be dependent upon the banks, as they would surely harass the people.

Yes India Needs Financial Inclusion however we need better implementation in correct way.


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20 November 2014 at 01:38 delete

Nice post and good effort Balram.