About 30 crore accounts opened under PMJDY

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Jaitley said biometric identification number Aadhaar was an evolving idea under the previous UPA regime and it did not have legislative backing. "What the Aadhaar would be used for was not mentioned in the draft law", he said. The Finance Minister was delivering the Key Note Address at the Conclave on Finance Inclusion organized by United Nations (UN) in India in the national capital today. Jaitley said these "Basic Banking Accounts" could get overdraft facility of Rs 5,000.

Jaitley went on to say that before 2014, financial inclusion was not a "centre stage agenda" of the government.

The finance minister said that over the period of three years, the number of zero-balance accounts had reduced from 77 per cent to 20 per cent and he said that when the direct benefit transfer is expanded, these accounts would become operational. The Finance Minister, Shri Jaitley said that now the number of total bank accounts opened under PMJDY is more than 30 crore.

In September 2014, three months after the scheme was launched, 76.81% accounts had zero balance.

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Emphasising that the demonetization was a success, Jaitley said that after November 8 announcement, the non-formal sectors of economy was smoothly integrated with the formal sector.

"Its only in 2014, when we launched the PMJDY, in a mission mode throughout the country with the help of banks", he said. He said that Aadhar has helped in targeting the subsidies which, in turn, helped in avoiding wastage of resources.

"(I) am sure the Aadhaar legislation will stand the test of constitutionality", the Finance Minister said, adding Aadhaar enables targeted state support directly to beneficiaries. He said after implementation of Aadhar system, such Government support/subsidy is confined to the vulnerable and those who are entitled for the same. Jaitley claimed that 99.99% of households now have at least one bank account, reported PTI.

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