New Delhi: To expand social security coverage, government will provide more resources for flagship schemes such as Atal Pension Yojana and also launch their new variants, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched social security schemes — the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) — in May with the objective of providing universal social security.
“As our economy is prospering, these schemes will be allotted more resources and there will be more variants with improvements,” Jaitley said at the second meeting of Consultative Committee attached to the Finance Ministry. The present government is fully committed to its goal of universal social security, he emphasised.
The Finance Minister said that so far, 7.84 crore people have registered under PMSBY, 2.70 crore under PMJJBY and 4.69 lakh subscribers have joined APY.
In order to have better policy formulation and coordination, the government plans to bring various social security schemes run by different departments or ministries under one roof, he said.
These schemes are way for future and the government will bring about other variants of the schemes in the near future, he said. At present, only 11 per cent of the population is covered under pension schemes while only 20 per cent of the people are insured and the government wants to improve the situation by bringing maximum people under these benefits, the Finance Minister said.
With regard to financial inclusion initiative of the government, Jaitley said Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), has recorded a success with opening of 16.73 crore accounts within a year with a total deposits of Rs 19,990.52 crore.
He said that the government subsequently encouraged to widen the approach to social security for all sections of society by introducing micro insurance, micro pension and micro credit schemes. He said that the movement from Jan Dhan to Jan Suraksha has been facilitated by the government within one year itself.
Later, Financial Services Secretary Hasmukh Aadhia made a presentation on the present level of implementation of these schemes. Under the PMJDY, Aadhia said that the number of zero balance accounts has come down from initial 75 per cent to 52 per cent. As on July 8, 2015, he said that total number of 14.86 crore Rupay cards have been issued under the scheme to account holders.
Adhia further informed that under PMJJBY, 114 claims were made till July 10, 2015 and 54 have already been settled. Under the pension scheme, 4.69 lakh people have subscribed and out of that, 3.48 subscribers have already received their Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN), he said, adding a total corpus of Rs 14.91 crore has been accumulated so far under the scheme.
On Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), the Secretary said that it is aimed at augmenting the flow of finance to microfinance sector. An overall disbursement target of Rs 1.22 lakh crore was set for banks and financial institutions for 2015-16 and till June 30, Rs 6,184.80 crore has been dispersed by public sector banks and Rs 1,592.13 crore by RRBs under PMMY, he added.
During the meeting, the members of the Consultative Committee gave their suggestions and observations with regard to these social security schemes. One of the members pointed out that there was a need for more penetration of banks especially in rural areas and efforts to create an awareness among the most vulnerable and poor section of society about the various aspects of schemes.
Another member suggested that there was need for appointing more business correspondents and use of biometric devices for ensuring that benefits reach to the beneficiaries in full and there is no scope for intermediaries to take any undue benefit especially in case of poor, illiterate and vulnerable section of people living in far flung rural areas.
There was also a suggestion to increase the staff strength of the banks to meet the growing needs and increase in their work load due to implementation of these Schemes. One member emphasised the usage of post offices as payment banks for these social security schemes, as they have reach till last end.
Some members suggested that loan to micro entrepreneurs should be made available at a reasonable rate of interest so that they take benefit of micro financing policy of the government through MUDRA.
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