Rs93.82 Crore Was Deposited in a Single Jan Dhan Account, Reveals RTI
A single account opened in United Bank of India, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), or the ‘no frills’ or Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) had a whopping Rs93.82 crore deposited. This was revealed in a Right to Information (RTI) query.
 
Remember, the Jan Dhan account was meant for financial inclusion of the unbanked and is even below the category of regular, basic savings accounts of banks. While Rs93.82 crore is a mind-boggling deposit, other large deposits in nationalised banks are also so large as to raise questions about who these depositors are, what checks were conducted by banks before accepting such deposits and what is the nature of money that has been deposited in Jan Dhan accounts. 
 
The Rs93 crore number is so shocking that we wonder whether the Bank undestood the question correctly. However, even ignoring this figure, several banks have reported a very large number for Jan Dhan account which is meant for the poor.
 
As part of a fact-finding exercise, Moneylife filed RTI application with the Department of Financial Services, in Ministry of Finance seeking information on PMJDY scheme relating to Public Sector Banks (PSB). The CPIO of the Department forwarded our RTI application to all banks, asking them to respond us directly.
 
Here are the questions we had asked in the RTI...
  • What is the maximum amount deposited till date by any account-holder/beneficiary?
  • The number of accounts having deposit between INR10,000 to INR99,000.
  • The number of accounts having deposit exceeding INR100,000.
  • The number of accounts, which are dormant since past two years. 
The answers received from several other banks are also startling. While no other deposit was as large as Rs93.82 crore, Bank of India admitted to Rs3.05 crore deposited by a account holder in a Jan Dhan account, Union Bank said it has Rs1.21 crore deposited as the biggest deposit; Bank of Maharashtra had Rs98.45 lakh in one account and Dena Bank admitted to Rs94.45 lakh. 
 
Then there was Punjab & Sind Bank with Rs52 lakh in one account, IDBI with Rs32.45 lakh in one account, Andhra Bank with Rs10 lakh in one account and Indian Bank with Rs4.22 lakhs in one Jan Dhan Account.
 
 
Some nationalised banks have yet to reply to our query and many have found excuses to refuse an answer. UCO Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce, however, refused to furnish information about maximum amount deposited in PMJDY account. 
 
Banks that refused to provide the information have used different excuses like 'information not available', and various sections from the RTI Act, like fiduciary relations (Section 8(1)(e)), information denied (Section 8(1)(d)), information not maintained in required format (Section 7(9)) and so on.  
 
Remember, these startling numbers are ONLY from the 20 nationalised banks and do not include similar deposits that may have been made in private banks and cooperative banks. 
 
Given that the RBI has only recently admitted that 99.30% of demonetised money had returned to the banking system, it would be worth investigating who these mega-rich individuals were mega-rich individuals who felt the need to deposit large sums in Jan Dhan accounts. Were these cash deposits? Was this money transferred from other accounts? Who were these depositors? None of these queries can be asked under RTI, but the government and its investigation, enforcement and tax departments ought to have been trawling through this information already. 
 
Remember, accounts opened under PMJDY are opened with zero balance and do not have all the facilities available to regular accounts which have minimum balance requirements. 
 
The numbers are shocking because the Jan Dhan scheme clearly does not allow such large deposits: It says, “Such accounts have limitations regarding the aggregate credits (not more than Rupees one lakh in a year), aggregate withdrawals (nor more than Rupees ten thousand in a month) and balance in the accounts (not more than Rupees fifty thousand at any point of time)". https://pmjdy.gov.in/scheme
 
It makes no sense for anyone to stash even  thousands of rupees in such accounts. In fact, since Jan Dhan was a tool for financial inclusion and empowerment, there ought to be a cap on deposits in these accounts. Once a Jan Dhan account has, say over Rs50,000 deposited in it, it ought to be converted into a regular account.
 
Another important fact to note is that Jan Dhan accounts were opened with a simple Aadhar number. Since Aadhar numbers are unverified even by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Development Authority of India) these accounts, in all probability, have not gone through the usual KYC (Know your customer) checks and verifications. 
 
According to information available on PMJDY website  (maintained by Ministry of Finance) as on 29 August 2018, there were 32.54 crore beneficiaries of the PMJDY scheme. All the accounts opened under PMJDY scheme has deposits of Rs82,039.35 crore, the portal says. 
 
  
Will the RTI revelations now trigger a demand to disclose the real beneficiaries of these PMJDY bank accounts? Our RTI filings have many more startling revelations, which we will place in the public domain shortly. 
 
 
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    COMMENTS

    Ashok Senniappan

    2 years ago

    When you are not supposed to accept more than Rs 50000/ in Jan Dhan account
    Where is the question of not disclosing the information under relent Section 8(1)(d).Send the respective Chairman to Jail for a day then all the information will come out.

    Mukesh kamath

    2 years ago

    Was this account linked with aadhaar? If it was then this is a scam.

    Ralph Rau

    2 years ago

    Also need Enforcement Directorate investigation into the Co-op bank in which top most politician is involved ?

    NKNKD ?

    GOKUL

    2 years ago

    Demonetization efforts are failed only because the people who helped the rich, particularly who are having black money, to convert their money on commission basis. During the demonetization period, most of the people particularly house wife of daily, were on the queue in the bank to exchange currency of black-money holders just for a commission or daily wage.

    Indrajit Barot

    2 years ago

    Like reforms in Russia by president Mikhail Gorbochov we too need urgently Transparency in all public matters, since a large part of people are accustomed too resorting to corrupt practices in all small and big transactions.

    Ashish M

    2 years ago

    In my view NAMO underestimated the capability of Indians when it comes to being dishonest and corrupt. Given that NAMO is a seasoned politician, this wasn't expected from him and this was a strategic blunder.

    What can any measure do when the almost entire society is corrupt.... politicians, govt officials, bank officials, list is endless.........I know many so called demonetization fans who helped their relatives by depositing Rs. 2.5 lakhs in their own accounts. These are typical service class people who had no black money of their own, were welcoming demonetisation but even they could not resist helping their relatives or friends. Had the society at large decided to not rent their bank accounts to the cash hoarders, this Demo would have become a success but in India corruption is bad only when done by opposition camp.

    End result of all of this is that our procedures to do anything are getting too complicated, complicated KYC for even small transactions is becoming a norm.

    REPLY

    Juliet DeSouza

    In Reply to Ashish M 2 years ago

    I echo your thoughts. Spot on.

    Anand Vaidya

    2 years ago

    I think these deposits are from the 2016 note ban period. These facts are known to the gov & various agencies are probing. Many have been caught and converted to "resident tax-payers". A few lakh accounts are under the scanner. So these people will not go scot-free.

    ksrao

    2 years ago

    Demonetisation has not removed black money and corruption. It has made them come back with a bang, and with greater ease thanks to Rs.2000 notes. If Rs.5000 notes had been introduced, black money and bribing would have had a happier life and longevity. Even if an illiterate person on the streets knows that when Rs.1000 and Rs.500 notes were accused of black money, no sane government would have introduced Rs.2000 notes. Right from the beginning, the impromptu decision of Mr Modi about note-ban was a fraud on the public at a huge cost!

    Jitendra Raval

    2 years ago

    Horrible. This has happened due to implementation without preparation, consultation and craziness to insert the element of MasterStroke. I think what MMS has said about the decision will prove correct. Remember the era the way banks forced to opened accounts under PMJDY and relaxation in KYC norms. I am well aware as I was engaged with a client bank on behalf of FIS during this period. It is nothing but huge scam to convert from black to white, demolishing the liquidity of opposition parties, help cronies by damaging small business, benefit to logistic carriers for currency notes , ATM handling companies by payment of calibration expenses etc etc. Each and every word of MMS is going to be prove. Let deaf and dumb remain in denial and clapping as they don't have abilities to think with open mind. Let's hope for the best for common citizens which required to pay the price silently or otherwise. This is the reasons why they wants to keep common people busy in non issues through godi media and cheer leaders.

    REPLY

    Meenal Mamdani

    In Reply to Jitendra Raval 2 years ago

    So true.

    Meenal Mamdani

    2 years ago

    I was visiting India at the time of the demonetization fracas.

    I heard from several individuals that they had known their relatives or friends who were bank staff to have connived to accept large deposits in exchange for a consideration.

    There is no way that this kind of gross misuse of Jan Dhan accounts can happen without the culpability of the bank staff.

    It should be fairly simple to determine which staff member took the questionable deposit and put her/him in prison. The concerned individual will immediately implicate all others who participated in the transaction.

    The main question is does the govt/bank want to find out who the culprits are?

    REPLY

    Jitendra Raval

    In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 2 years ago

    Very true. Many unscrupulous bankers made money through this saga. They helped not only businessmen but their masters in top management too benefited. Just check how many employees booked? It was an occasional of huge opportunity for the particular section of the society and employess as a part of the implementation process. Don't forget Indian currency lying in Nepal & Bhutan. Why old notes still being sized? Whether government had open its mouth on status of old currency in Nepal or Bhutan. Still that root being exploted.

    Gurudutt Mundkur

    2 years ago

    Bank Officials do not know what Jan Dhan accounts are. These are irresponsible officials and should be sent through training once again. If they repeat the mistakes, they should be sacked.

    REPLY

    ksrao

    In Reply to Gurudutt Mundkur 2 years ago

    Modi also does not know any subject in depth. At one time we thought he was a great sincere and honest reformer. He is only good at oratory and coining some formulas and catchy phrases. His Finance Minister is an adamant man who never accepts his failures.

    Indrajit Barot

    In Reply to ksrao 2 years ago

    This will get us no where. To be happy and criticize PM now because living in the time where such things are declaref openly and every one can give their opinion freely. Where were your voice when rampant scandals were carried on for such long time of memoth magnitude for purely personal and political gains?
    Before blaming and doubting even without giving required time to eliminate the kind of disease being attempted.
    The man is openly inviting all the wise people to contribute their precious advice directly to him/his office, instead of venting at places to get praise from few over enthusiast s.

    Meenal Mamdani

    In Reply to Indrajit Barot 2 years ago

    Politicians are eager to take credit but loathe to take blame.

    Modi’s govt has done many good things like the revamping of the bankruptcy regulations.

    But you must admit that demonetization was a big mistake if you consider the impact on the poor and also on the economy as a whole.

    People should not be vilified for criticism of bad policies.

    Sucheta Dalal

    In Reply to Indrajit Barot 2 years ago

    Dont post foolish comments here. Our voice has always been loud and clear against faulty government policies right from the beginning and even during the previous government. You may want to make the effort to read and be more enlightened.

    nilesh prabhu

    In Reply to Indrajit Barot 2 years ago

    Mr. Barot,
    try for yourself,
    please post a grievance in pmo portal
    and in a months time let us know,
    or else email any random issues to any government officials and lets see
    if you get a reply email.

    I am not talkin of solving problems, the babus under this government do not even reply to emails.

    We are listening!

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