1-rupee Jan Dhan trick: Some banks admit, others vow tighter vigil

The Indian Express has now accessed, under the RTI Act, a statement prepared by the DFS on September 27, 2016, for the Prime Minister’s Office based on the banks’ responses.

Written by Shyamlal Yadav | New Delhi | Published:January 11, 2017 5:07 am
zero balance, bank zero balance, jan dhan accounts, bank jan dhan account, erase zero balance accounts, punjab and sind bank, zero balance account, open zero balance account, how to open bank account, indian express investigation, syndicate bank, banking, banking and finance, indian express news, business, banking news Number of zero-balance accounts fell, from 76% in September 2014 to almost 46% in August 2015 and 24.35% on August 31, 2016.

AT LEAST two public sector banks, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India, have accepted that their branch staff deposited Re 1 on their own in Jan Dhan accounts to apparently reduce the number of zero-balance accounts opened under the government’s flagship financial inclusion scheme. Some other banks have admitted to “mobilising” money in accounts through their correspondents, while others have assured of “corrective action,” tighter vigil and “strict” advice.

Read | The One-Rupee Trick: How banks cut their zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts

These bank responses were sent to the Government after it sought a clarification from them following The Indian Express investigation (September 13, 2016) that revealed how officials were making Re 1 deposits, many from their own allowances, some from money kept aside for office maintenance, to reduce the branch’s tally of zero-balance accounts. Indeed, the number of zero-balance accounts fell, from 76% in September 2014 to almost 46% in August 2015 and 24.35% on August 31, 2016.

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The Indian Express has now accessed, under the RTI Act, a statement prepared by the DFS on September 27, 2016, for the Prime Minister’s Office based on the banks’ responses.

Its key observations and findings:

# Of the 23.4 crore Jan Dhan accounts in 27 public sector banks, including the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, up to September 13, 2016, at least 1.2 crore show a balance of merely Re 1 as the only transaction. This accounts for over 5.15 per cent of the total Jan Dhan accounts opened in these banks.

Read | Jan Dhan 1-rupee trick: Opposition wants answers and an inquiry

# Says a noting by a joint secretary of the DFS on September 27: “It is pertinent to mention here that in few of the cases of Bank of Baroda and Bank of India, deposit of Re 1 has been done which has been accepted by the banks concerned. Action needs to be taken as deemed fit in these cases so that in future such incidents are not repeated.”

List of Jan Dhan accounts from six states

The DFS statement to the PMO states: “Bank of Baroda has informed that 2 per cent of PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) accounts have received Re 1 from P&L (Profit & Loss) Account. There are some cases in Bank of India where amount was transferred from BCs’ (banking correspondents) account.”

These are the individual responses from various banks, obtained under the RTI Act:

Read | Jan Dhan empowers, that’s why the red flag

ALLAHABAD BANK: On December 31, 2015, there were 3.69 lakh Jan Dhan accounts with Re 1 balance, which dipped to 3.22 lakh on September 14, 2016. “These accounts were opened in camp mode through various representatives like social bodies, village pradhan, NGOs, etc. Amount in these accounts were deposited by these representatives through the branch as these accounts were mobilised by them,” the bank stated.

ANDHRA BANK: 2.28 lakh of 22.27 lakh Jan Dhan accounts had a balance of Re 1, and no other transaction. “No such instances are reported in our bank regarding utilisation of funds from various expenditure heads available in branches for activation of zero-balance accounts,” the bank said.

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BANK OF BARODA: A sample verification of 3,799 Jan Dhan accounts covering 100 branches in Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and UP were conducted. In eight per cent of these accounts, deposits were done “by a single cash deposit”. In two per cent of these accounts, cash was deposited “by debiting P&L accounts”. “We sincerely regret the occurrence of this anomaly and shall ensure that suitable corrective action is taken,” the bank stated.

BANK OF INDIA: 18.03 lakh of 1.42 crore Jan Dhan accounts had a balance of Re 1. “However, 13.17 lakh accounts are funded by BC (banking correspondents) to keep the account active,” said the bank, adding that it would “take all necessary steps to stop such practice in future”.

CORPORATION BANK: 23,056 of 5.23 lakh Jan Dhan accounts had a balance of Re 1, and no other transaction. But on the issue of officials or banking correspondents depositing money in these accounts, the bank said, “We have not come across such types (of) instances.”

PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK: “Deposits have been made by customers themselves or through BC agents… Appropriate action will be taken in the matter,” the bank stated.

PUNJAB & SIND BANK: Around 18 per cent of its Jan Dhan accounts had a balance of Re 1. “We have sought urgent detailed reports on the concerns raised therein from all zonal managers,” it said.

STATE BANK OF BIKANER AND JAIPUR: 77,974 of 59.27 lakh Jan Dhan accounts had a balance of Re 1, with no other transaction. The bank said it has advised BCs to “mobilise deposits in their customer accounts to minimise zero balance”.

STATE BANK OF INDIA: 6.62 lakh of 6.69 crore Jan Dhan accounts had a balance of Re 1, without any other transaction. The bank denied issuing any instruction for “wrongful reduction” of zero balance accounts.

SYNDICATE BANK: 2.34 per cent of total Jan Dhan accounts had Re 1 as balance with no other transaction. The bank stated that it will undertake a “micro analysis of these accounts and take the required remedial steps wherever required, if any unethical practice are found”.

UCO BANK: 74,635 of 74.64 lakh Jan Dhan accounts had Re 1 as balance. One of the reasons for these Re 1 deposits, the bank said, was “testing of transactions done by Bank Mitras at the time of opening of account.” The bank has promised to take “all necessary steps to restrict possibilities of occurrence”.

VIJAYA BANK: 1.32 lakh accounts with Re 1 balance. The bank said it has “strictly advised” its field officials “not to resort to such practices for the purpose of funding these accounts”.

THE ONE-RUPEE COUNT

Percentage of Jan Dhan accounts with Re 1 balance as of September 13, 2016:

Bank of India: 10.31%
Canara Bank: 7.88%
Central Bank of India: 13.71%
Punjab & Sind Bank: 17.71%
Punjab National Bank: 20.73%
Andhra Bank: 10.24%
Union Bank of India: 10.28%
Vijaya Bank: 9.37%
Source: Department of Financial Services, obtained under the RTI Act

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  1. M
    Monika Kumresh
    Jan 12, 2017 at 3:16 am
    We went to ask Hw to open the tht bank account but no one r responding
    Reply
    1. S
      SubbuI
      Jan 11, 2017 at 5:55 am
      NALAYAK NMODI MADE ALL PREPARATIONS IN ADVANCE WITH HIS JAN-DHAN JUGAD. HIS FIRST PURPOSE OF CONVERTING HIS GROUP OF FRIENDS BLACK MONEY TO WHITE BY DEPOSITING IN SILANT JAN DHAN ACCOUNTS. NOW THE ONE RUPEE JUGAD MAY FOR HIS SECOND JUMLA WHICH GOT SPOILED BY IE INVESTIGATIONS AND NOW RTI REPORTS.SHAME ON THIS CRIME MINISTER
      Reply
      1. H
        Homer
        Jan 11, 2017 at 7:23 am
        Another proud madar graduate talking nonsense thinking himself a genius!
        Reply
        1. H
          Homer
          Jan 11, 2017 at 7:08 am
          How much preparation did maunmohan and his master the white widow make before they LOOTED 1860,000,000,000₹?
          Reply
          1. H
            Homer
            Jan 11, 2017 at 7:17 am
            Seems the looter's servants are the ones confused by someone DEPOSITING instead of LOOTING! I guess for you the loot of 1860,000,000,000₹ Is ok?
            Reply
            1. H
              Homer
              Jan 11, 2017 at 5:03 am
              OH MY GOD! What a CRIME! While Sonia and maunmohan looted 1860,000,000,000₹ the pressutes have BLOWN THE COVER of of RUPEE1 deposited by Bankers!
              Reply
              1. S
                S Srinivasan
                Jan 11, 2017 at 12:57 am
                Modi has initiated Jan Dhan accounts for the benefit of the mes,so that they turnlt;br/gt;to savings habit.Do the people are starving in India? Dont they go for movies?lt;br/gt;Dont they go for IPL matches? Dont they eat in hotels,even it be a road side one?lt;br/gt;It is the filthy mind of public that they expect everything from the Government,andlt;br/gt;60 and odd years of Congress rule has made them perpetual beggars.
                Reply
                1. A
                  ATUL
                  Jan 11, 2017 at 7:36 am
                  Blind Gupt Rooge of Impotent Feku G, Open your eyes and spill the truth.lt;br/gt;Feku G should consult AnnandeBehan before doing nation building. Jootley jaitley should be awarded Bharat Ratna for giving fake data.
                  Reply
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