10.36 crore bank accounts under Jan Dhan scheme have not had a single transaction last year

Finance minister of State Bhagwat Karad said that of the total PM Jan Dhan Yojana accounts,10.36 crore accounts have not had any transactions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)  (Photo: NH Library)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) (Photo: NH Library)

Ashlin Mathew

The union government has revealed that 10.36 crore bank accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan (PMJDY) scheme have not had a single transaction in the previous financial year.

In response to questions asked by CPI MP Binoy Viswam, Minister of State-finance Bhagwat Karad said public sector banks have reported that the total number of PMJDY accounts opened up to 31 March 2022 but not having even a single customer induced transaction during the FY 2022-23 is 10.36 crore and that 796 cases have been filed against frauds in PMJDY accounts in FY 2022-23. This staggering number is more than 20 per cent of total Jan Dhan accounts.

To Viswam's questions about financial literacy training, Karad said the Centre for Financial Literacy (CFL) pilot project was initiated in 2017 with an objective to adopt community led innovative and participatory approaches to financial literacy. As on 30 June 2023, a total of 1,621 CFLs have been set up across the country.

The government stated that it has settled 2,416 Rupay card linked accidental insurance claims since 2019. In 2019-20, it was 1,853 claims; in 2020-2021, 177 claims; 2021-2022, 185 claims; 2022-2023, 188 claims; and up to 14 July 2023, 13 claims.

On 31 July 2023, the government had released a statement detailing that there were 49.49 crore accounts with Rs 2,00,958 crore deposits as of 12 July 2023 since the inception of the scheme. In March 2023, the government had stated that as on January 15, the total number of PMJDY accounts opened was 37.87 crore, of which 30.78 crore, or 81.3 per cent, were operative.

The scheme was announced in August 2014 with the aim to provide financial inclusiveness and support to the marginalised and socio-economically neglected classes. It was aimed to provide universal banking services through opening of zero balance bank account for every unbanked household.

Jan Dhan accounts were allowed to be opened with just an Aadhaar card or the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) job card signed by a government officer, or a letter issued by a gazetted officer accompanied by an attested photograph of the applicant. 

It had been earlier reported that Bank of Baroda and the Bank of India had deposited Re 1 into the Jan Dhan accounts so as to reduce the number of zero-balance accounts opened under the scheme.

Additionally, responses to queries under the RTI Act had revealed that several of the Jan Dhan accounts were used for money laundering. According to a report in Moneylife, United Bank of India had got a deposit of Rs 93.82 crore in a single Jan Dhan account. The largest single deposit in Bank of India was a hefty Rs 3.05 crore; Union Bank of India admitted to Rs 1.21 crore; Bank of Maharashtra to Rs 98.45 lakh and Dena Bank admitted to Rs 94.45 lakh as the highest deposit in a single account.

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