About 42 per cent of households were unbanked before the Jan Dhan Yojana, which aims to give every household access to banking facilities by offering them zero-balance accounts across all commercial banks.
Speaking at a conclave on Financial Inclusion, he said the number of zero-balance accounts has reduced from 77 per cent to 20 per cent and even these would become operational once the direct benefit transfer is expanded.
In September 2014, three months after the scheme was launched, 76.81 per cent accounts had zero balance. The number of zero-balance accounts has now come down to 20 per cent of the total, he said.
Mr Jaitley said biometric identification number Aadhaar was an evolving idea under the previous UPA regime and it did not have legislative backing. The Aadhaar legislation, passed during the BJP rule, will stand test of constitutionality of using the unique identification number for giving government benefits, he said.