Over 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders will get Rs 500 this week as the first monthly installment of the ex-gratia announced under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana package in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centre has entrusted the Ministry of Rural Development with the implementation of this component of the relief package.
“The first tranche of this benefit is likely to be credited into beneficiary accounts within the first week of April 2020,” Rural Development Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to Chief Secretaries of all states on Tuesday.
Bhushan said, “Fund for the said purpose would be provided for by Department of Rural Development, through Central Nodal Bank (State Bank of India) which will further transmit funds to other participating banks according to the list provided by Department of Financial Services (DFS).”
“The funds so transferred to the banks must be credited to the account of beneficiaries immediately on receipt of funds for this purpose,” he added.
According to sources, there are about 20.39 crore women account holders under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and these accounts are spread across 32 banks which include public sector banks, private banks and regional rural banks.
Last week, the government had announced that all the women Jan Dhan Account holders will be provided a one-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 500 per month for the next three months — May, June and July — in view of the outbreak.
It is learnt that an amount of more than Rs 10,000 crore will be required for the first tranche and this will be provided to Ministry of Rural Development under a new budget head created under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission.
A source said, “The money will be transferred to SBI, which is the central nodal bank, Thursday and immediately, it will start being credited into accounts of the women Jan Dhan account holders.”
Out of the total women PMJDY accounts, 7.5-8 crore are in SBI and it can credit up to 1.5 crore accounts in a day. So, it is expected that those who have Jan Dhan accounts in SBI will get the first tranche in the next three-four days, said sources. Sources said the amount will be credited to the accounts through the Direct Benefit Transfer platform and will be tracked using Public Financial Management System.
Meanwhile, Bhushan has asked states to spread awareness about the scheme and facilitate withdrawal of the amount by the beneficiaries while adhering to norms of social distancing.
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