For 60 years, banks have been using the excuse of lack of branch penetration for all round poor performance on priority sector lending, differential rate of interest lending and self-help-group linkages, even as poor remain largely unbanked.
When the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deregulated savings bank deposit interest rates in October 2011, it was hailed as a big reformist step that would ensure better returns to depositors. Almost four years have passed and there is hardly any change in the interest rates on such deposits.
The government-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) that controls more than two-thirds of the life insurance business in the country, has shown unwillingness to bear the cost of the proposed Rs 30,000 life cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
The expression "100 days" of a government made headlines in India five years ago when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Congress party was re-elected in May 2009. Almost all ministers announced 100-day targets and subsequently presented report cards. That was the high point of Manmohan Singh led UPA government.
With the launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), it is time for the poor of India to rejoice. Every time Narendra Modi speaks of Jan Dhan, the product-on-offer gets better.