The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the present Government has taken various initiatives in last one year so that more and more people are covered under the ambit of social security schemes. He said that these schemes are way for future and the Government will bring about other variants of the schemes in the near future. At present, only 11% of the population of the country is covered under pension schemes while only 20% of the people are insured. The Finance Minister said that the Government wants to improve the situation by bringing maximum people under these benefits. He said that the three ambitious Social Security Schemes of the Government, i.e. the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) were launched by the Prime Minister in May 2015 which in turn will play an important role in realising the dream of universal social security. He said that these Social Security Schemes have been successful in evoking a highly positive response from the people at large. 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. Shri Jaitley further said that in order to have better policy formulation and coordination, the Government plans to bring about various social security schemes run by different Departments/ Ministries under one roof. The Finance Minister was speaking at the Second Meeting of Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Finance here today on the subject of “ PM’s Social Security Schemes”.
The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley further said that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the First step towards financial inclusion by the present Government, has recorded a spectacular 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. He said that now the focus is to enlarge the scope of the Social Security Schemes and include maximum number of people with in their ambit .
Later, Dr. Hasmukh Aadhia, Secretary, Department of Financial Services made a presentation on the present level of implementation of these schemes. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dan Yojana(PMJDY), he said that number of zero balance accounts have come down from initial 75% to 52%. As on 8th July, 2015, he said that total number of 14.86 crore Rupay cards have been issued under the Scheme to account holders. He further informed that under PMJJBY, 114 claims were made till 10th July, 2015 and 54 have been already settled. Under Atal Pension Yojana (APY), 4.69 lakh people have subscribed and out of that, 3.48 subscribers have already received their Permanent Retirement Account Number ( PRAN). A total corpus of Rs.14.91 crore has been accumulated so far under the Scheme. Dr. Adhia said that under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) aimed at augmenting the flow of finance to microfinance sector, an overall disbursement target of Rs.1,22,000 crore was set for banks/financial institutions for 2015-16 and till 30th June 2015, Rs. 6184.80 crore has been dispersed by Public Sector banks and Rs.1592.13 crore by RRBs under PMMY.
After the presentation, the Members of the Consultative Committee gave their suggestions and observations with regard to these Social Security Schemes. Most of the Members of the Committee congratulated the Government for both launching and successfully implementing these social security schemes. They appreciated that these Schemes are unprecedented and unparallel measures. They made many suggestions for further improving the performance of these schemes. One of the Member pointed-out that launch of these Schemes was a right step in the right direction. However, there is 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 these Schemes so that benefits of these schemes reach to the last person. Another Member pointed-out the 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. Some members suggested the need of taking banking to the every rural corner of India. Another member suggested the need 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. Another important suggestion came was 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.
The Finance Minister, while thanking the Members of their useful suggestions said that it is only the beginning of journey for covering large section of population under social security programmes and there is a long and challenging journey forward. As our economy is prospering, the Finance Minister said that these schemes will be allotted more resources and there will be more variants with improvements. He concluded with the remarks that the present Government is fully committed to its goal of universal social security.
Along with the Fianance Minister, the Members of the Parliament and the Consultative Committe who attended the aforesaid Meeting today include Shri Anirudhan Sampath, Shri Baijayanta Jai Panda, Shri Dilip Kumar Mansukhal Gandhi, Dr.Hari Babu Kamhampati, Shri.J.Jayasingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee, Shri Kailesh Narayan Singh Deo, Shri.P.P.Chaudhary, Smt.Poonam Mahajan, Shri PrabhatsinhPratapsinh Chauhan, Shri Ram Charitra Nishad and Shri Subhash Chandra Baheria ( all Members of Lok Sabha);Shri .Anil Desai, Shri Dig Vijay Singh, Shri K P Ramalingam, Shri Rajkumar Dhoot, Shri Satish Chandra Misra, Kumari Selja and Shri Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (all Members of Rajya Sabha).Among the officers present during the Meeting include Shri Rajiv Mehrishi , Finance Secretary ,Shri Shaktikanta Das , Revenue Secretary, Dr.Hasmukh Adhia , Secretary (DFS), Dr. Arvind Subrahmanian , Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance among others.