This report presents the findings of a primary study conducted across four districts in Tamil Nadu about the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and its implications for achieving full financial inclusion. The need to conduct the study just prior to the one-year anniversary stemmed from the quick success that banks and the government proclaimed. Given that the programme was quite similar to previous attempts at complete financial inclusion, the stark difference in success came as a surprise and demanded a study.
The study found that several of the problems that earlier attempts at financial inclusion faced, such as bankers acting as large barriers to access, exclusion of the most vulnerable and lack of awareness of programme features, continue to persist even with the PMJDY. These findings have been placed in the context of what has been observed with large government programmes with explanations drawn from theory and secondary literature, wherever relevant. The paper examines both design and implementation gaps, providing possible solutions for re-design and implementation.