Following the media reports claiming the alleged instances of bankers depositing money in the Jan Dhan accounts to reduce the number of zero balance accounts, Union Finance Ministry said it will ascertain the facts pertaining to it. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is among the top flagship schemes of the Modi government aiming to provide financial services to the poor.
Also termed as Jan Dhan Yojna, the scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 August, 2014 – barely three months after coming to power with thumping majority.
Observing that there was no requirement of minimum balance in the PMJDY accounts, the Finance Ministry said “in view of the specific instances mentioned (in a media report), facts are being ascertained to assess if there has been any misunderstanding at the branch level of the objectives of the scheme.”
There were media reports on Wednesday citing specific instances where Re one or more was deposited by bankers themselves to bring down the number of zero balance accounts.
In a release, the Union Finance ministry further said it needs to be appreciated that since the absence of balance in PMJDY accounts in no way diminishes the benefits associated with these accounts, there is no requirement of even a small balance in the accounts.
The PMJDY, it said, continues to be a robust scheme which provides benefits even when there is no balance in the accounts.
“Government remains committed to adding value to the PMJDY by routing benefits directly into bank accounts under various schemes,” the government release read.
Over 24 crore PMJDY accounts have been opened and they have a total balance of more than Rs 42,000 crore.
In December 2014, 10.45 crore PMJDY accounts had deposits of Rs 8,353 crore, the release said, adding “the deposits have been rising steadily during this period.”
The scheme aims to provide financial services, deposit accounts, remittances, credit and accident insurance to everyone. It also seeks to inculcate a widespread banking habit and create credit histories of account holders, thereby facilitating them to access overdraft/credit from banks.
(With inputs from the PTI)