The Economic Survey 2017-18 notes the progress in bank accounts under the PMJDY scheme (See page 4, Box 1), pointing out that the increased provision has now to translate into increased usage. One way to increase the engagement of the customers is set forth in the Union Budget 2018-19 - micro insurance and unorganized sector pension schemes will be extended to all sixty crore basic accounts.
It is also crucial that the government now focuses on removing implementation glitches that are marring the progress of financial inclusion and Direct Benefits Transfers (DBT). For instance, as the MicroSave Assessment of DBT in fertilizer shows, the majority of farmers and retailers are satisfied with the DBT experience; however connectivity remains a significant block to a smooth transaction. The DoT and TRAI must be brought in to work at the granular level on resolving the network failures.
There are many other operational issues that need attention such as unattractive retail margins, hardware issues, stock reporting etc. With expectations high and an electorally charged atmosphere this year, the government’s priority should be to ensure successful strengthening of implementation of the DBT programme.