Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the zero balance accounts opened under Jan Dhan Scheme have come down to 20 per cent from 77 per cent previously.

Address a conclave on ‘Financial Inclusion’, Jaitley said almost 42 per cent of Indian households were outside the banking system when the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was initiated.

“Zero balance accounts under Jan Dhan Scheme have come down to 20 per cent from 77 per cent previously,” Jaitley said.

“Ther are 300 million accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana… The number of accounts opened since launch is more than even the number of families in India,” he added.

Stressing that the initial challenge was incentivising people to open accounts and to operate them, Jaitley said the scheme needed a “holistic 360° view”.

“In the last three years, India has succeeded to bring financial inclusion which never previously had economic, political imperative to focus. The more the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme expands, the more of PMJDY accounts will get operational,” he said.

Launched in 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the PMJDY was aimed at providing access to banking facilities to the masses across the country.