In the two weeks after the Centre’s demonetisation move, the total balance in Jan Dhan accounts increased by nearly 60 per cent, online data updated by the government on Saturday revealed. While the total deposit in Jan Dhan accounts was Rs 45,637 crore on November 9, a day after demonetisation was announced, it was Rs 72,835 crore on November 23 — an increase of Rs 27,198 crore.
In the first week of demonetisation, the total balance under the scheme went up by Rs 18,615 crore — nearly 60 times the weekly average of Rs 311 crore between March 31 and November 9 this year. In the second week, between November 17 and 23, the surge eased to a total deposit of Rs 8,582, still 27 times the weekly average.
As a result, the average balance in Jan Dhan accounts that hovered between Rs 1,697-1,799 in this financial year since April, has now jumped to Rs 2,836.63.
In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, the balance in Jan Dhan accounts saw a rise of Rs 4,287.55 crore, the highest in the country. It was followed by Rajasthan (Rs 2,574.85 crore) and West Bengal (Rs 2,553.85 crore). Punjab and Goa, the other two poll-bound states, saw an increase of Rs 936.73 crore and Rs 31.06 crore, respectively, in the balance in Jan Dhan accounts.
While the increase in balance in accounts in public sector banks was 56 per cent, it was 66 per cent in private sector banks. The highest surge was seen in accounts in regional rural banks where the balance in these accounts increased by as much as 77 per cent.
The balance in Jan Dhan accounts in public sector banks rose from Rs 36,403 crore to Rs 56,668 crore in this duration. In the regional rural banks, which are subsidiaries of public sector banks in rural India, the balance in Jan Dhan accounts increased from Rs 7,631 crore to Rs 13,507 crore in this period. In private sector banks, the balance climbed to Rs 2,659 crore from Rs 1,602 crore.
According to the data, 16.47 lakh new Jan Dhan accounts have been opened in these two weeks and there has been a 0.33 percent drop in the total number of accounts with zero balance. While on November 9, the percentage of accounts with zero balance was 23.27, it was 22.94 per cent on November 23. The total number of Jan Dhan accounts on November 9 was 25.51 crore and it rose to 25.67 crore by November 23.
Sources in banks said that there were small deposits in accounts in some areas after the announcement of demonetisation as many people who had Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes deposited them in their accounts. In certain areas, however, the deposits were huge. Last week, Minister of State for Finance, Santosh Gangwar, told The Indian Express that government is aware of these facts and scrutiny of such accounts is on.
On September 13, The Indian Express had reported based on its investigation that many branch managers were forced to put small amounts like Re 1 or Rs 2 or Rs 5 from their own pocket in zero balance Jan Dhan accounts just to reduce the total number of such accounts due to pressure from the top level.