Speech of Shri T.R. Zeliang, Chief Minister, Nagaland, on the occasion of launching “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana” at Kohima at 3.30 pm on 28th August, 2014.
Mr. Chairman, my colleague Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Advisors, MLAs, Senior officers of the State Government, the officetrs of the State Bank of India, who are the lead bank in Nagaland, as well as other banks, public leaders, ladies & gentlemen.
- As we are all aware, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi had announced some new schemes in his first Independence Day address to the nation. Just within two weeks of the announcement, we are today coming together here to launch one of the new schemes announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, namely “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana”. This is an indication of how fast things are now moving in the Central Government these days under the new regime of Narendra Modi. I think the Government of Nagaland also will have to work faster , if we are to catch up with the Central Government, and if we are to take maximum advantage of the Central schemes. Perhaps, we have to shift to the faster gears.
- As already stated in the introduction, the new scheme, namely Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is intended to give universal access to banking facilities for all households across the country. It is targeted towards the 7.5 crore households in India that still remain without banking coverage. This constitutes about 41% of our population. This is to be provided through a bank or through a business correspondent. As we are aware, in this computer and IT driven society of today, paper money will gradually give way to electronic mode of payments through credit and debit cards; and shopping on-line through computers and smart mobile phones from the comforts of our homes will become more popular. Hence, universal banking coverage for every household will soon become a necessity, and a reality. However, the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana scheme is not merely to open a saving account in a bank for every household. It has many additional attractive features for the poor, such as Rupay Debit card, having inbuilt accident insurance cover of one lakh rupees. It will also have overdraft facility up to Rs. 5,000 in respect of Aadhar enabled accounts. This also incidentally highlights the need for giving Aadhar number to every citizen in the State, if we want our people to fully utilize this scheme, as well as many other central schemes. I would like the Chief Secretary to look into this, because the Direct Benefit. Transfer under many other Government schemes can be successfully implemented only if there is universal coverage by bank accounts along with Aadhar number.
- Another area of concern is telecom connectivity in the rural areas of the State; because without telecom connectivity, we cannot fully achieve the objectives of the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana scheme. Therefore, I would urge the BSNL and other telecom service providers to become more active and involved in providing the telecom connectivity to all parts of the State.
- Another side benefit we can expect from the universal access to banking facilities is the inculcation of saving habit among our people. By and large, the Nagas have not yet developed the habit of saving. We are basically good spenders. But if we are to be a developed and self-supporting society, developing a saving habit is a must. Thrift is not to be mistaken for miserliness. In fact, all forms of careless wastages are to be seen as signs of uncaring attitude towards the poor, who are still in large numbers in our society. Therefore, I take this opportunity to call upon the people of Nagaland to start practising thrift, and to develop the habit of saving for the future. I also call upon all the bankers, the State Government officials and the public to enthusiastically involve themselves in the implementation of this Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to make it a grand success in Nagaland, and to help in laying the foundation for the State’s true economic progress and prosperity.
With these words, I formally launch the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana scheme in the State of Nagaland.