Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is a scheme that was launched by the Government of India to ensure the financial inclusion of all the Indian citizens who do not have a bank account in India. It was a nationwide scheme that was launched in August 2014. This particular scheme aims to provide access to financial services such as banking, saving accounts, deposits, credit, insurance and pensions in an accessible manner to all Indian citizens.

What is a Zero-Balance Account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana?

An individual can open a zero-balance account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to deposit, withdraw or transfer funds to or from his/her account without needing to pay any extra charges for the same. A zero-balance account enables a person to have the lowest possible balance they wish to have without charging them for it. This is done to help the weaker sections of the society by enabling them to open a bank account in their name. Most people in India might not afford to have an account with a bank and run it. So, a zero-balance account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana helps these people to open and run an account to withdraw, deposit and transfer funds.

Objective

The main objective or aim of a zero-balance account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is to enable individuals to have a minimum of one bank account to help accumulate their daily or monthly wages and avail the common advantages and services of banking products. It aims to aid the financially weaker sections of society by helping them open an account and using a RuPay debit card to facilitate convenient banking. Bank officials are expected to educate the unaware about the workings of the account and the RuPay debit card.

How to open a Zero-Balance Account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana?

  1. One must first approach the nearest bank

  1. They must provide documents that they can afford to produce, and open a savings account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

  1. Once the account is opened, a RuPay debit card is given to the individual and they can use this card to withdraw and transact money just like a savings account debit card

Eligibility for a Zero-Balance Account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

  • The applicant must be an Indian citizen only

  • The applicant should be above 10 years of age

  • The applicant should take any documents they have, such as a ration card or a Voters ID or anything that is available, to open a savings account under this scheme.

Features and benefits of a Zero-Balance Account

There are many features and benefits of a zero-balance account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana for an individual. Here are some of them:

  • A maximum of two members per family can have a zero-balance account under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

  • The account holder can deposit cash for free whenever necessary

  • The account holder can withdraw cash for free whenever needed

  • They can check their account balance when required with ease just like an ordinary savings account

  • Money can be transferred to and from accounts instantly without any charge

  • The account holder can also avail mobile banking facility on their phone for free

  • Mini statements can be received from the bank

  • Unaware individuals get to be financially literate with the help of literacy programs that are offered under this particular scheme

  • The account holder also gets a cover of Rs.30,000 for life and an accident cover of Rs.1 lakh per account

  • The scheme further facilitates the poorer sections of the society by enabling them to open an account with basic documents such as a ration card or a Voters ID in the form of “Small Account”

Our nation, with over 125 crores of people, has about 40% of individuals without bank accounts. With the country making a lot of economic progress, it is essential for the citizens of India to have some level of financial awareness and a zero-balance account through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana aims to do so.

Additional Reading: Housing for All - The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana