RINKU VERMA, a resident of Upper Kot in Behjoi, the district headquarters of Sambhal in western UP, had opened an account in the local Syndicate Bank as a student. It was later converted into a Jan Dhan account. The last transaction, on October 1, was a credit of Rs 2.42 – as interest accrued.
The next transaction came on November 25, Rs 49,000 was deposited. No money has been withdrawn so far.
At a time when the government suspects Jan Dhan accounts are being misused, with crores of apparently unaccounted for money being made ‘white’ through them, most of which had seen paltry, if any, transactions so far, Verma claimed there is no question of questioning the sudden deposit.
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Shivam Varshneya, who owns Daulat Rice Mills, where Verma works, claimed, “I gave him the money for his father’s surgery.”
Rinku nodded vigorously: “Yes, he gave me this money and I deposited it in my account. My father recently underwent a cataract surgery.”
Officials of the Behjoi branch of Syndicate Bank, where Verma has his account, refused to divulge details. One bank officer said on condition of anonymity. “There are around 100 Jan Dhan accounts in our branch where deposits since November 8 (when Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were demonetised) have been between Rs 40,000 and Rs 49,000.”
Deposits under Rs 50,000 in Jan Dhan accounts do not attract income tax scrutiny.
At the local branch of Prathama Bank, a regional rural bank sponsored by Syndicate Bank, Jan Dhan accounts have witnessed a steady growth in deposits since November 9.
“In 532 Jan Dhan accounts, we had a balance of Rs 21.24 lakh on November 9. On November 30, it was Rs 39.13 lakh,” branch manager Anil Kumar Gupta said.
About the sudden surge, Satish Kumar Gupta, lead district manager (from Syndicate Bank, the district’s lead bank with eight branches), said “nothing can be done” if less than Rs 50,000 is deposited into any Jan Dhan account. Gupta also said, “It is not my job to check the source of deposits.”