New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Four state-run banks are probing whether the money in some financial inclusion scheme Jan Dhan accounts was deposited by the account holders themselves, or by business correspondents to keep the number of zero-balance accounts low, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
“In case of few accounts, this issue has arisen and there are names of four banks. We have asked them. The banks are investigating from their branches whether account holders have put in money or business correspondents have done it,” Jaitley told reporters here following a performance review meeting with heads of state-run banks and financial institutions.
“After that the banks will give their report to the Department of Financial Services,” he added.
Jaitley said there are 24 crore Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts, while Rs 42,000 crore has been deposited in them.
“Those 24 crore accounts mostly have people from weaker sections. Now those people have deposited Rs 42,000 crore in these accounts. The figure of Rs 42,000 crore cannot be arrived at by adding Re 1,” he said.
Jaitley held a quarterly performance review meeting here on Friday with the Chief Executive Officers and Managing Directors of PSBs and financial institutions .
He was responding to a question on recent media reports citing specific instances where Re 1 or more was deposited by bankers themselves to lower the number of zero-balance accounts.
In a clarification in this regard on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry said: “In view of the specific instances mentioned, facts are being ascertained to assess if there has been any misunderstanding at the branch level of the objectives of the scheme (PMJDY).”
The progress made in various social sector schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Stand-Up India and MUDRA schemes is being reviewed in this day-long meeting.
The Finance Minister also said that aided by an upturn in sectors like housing, public sector banks, which had reported huge losses for the first quarter owing to a sharp rise in provisioning for NPAs, or bad loans, have finally turned the corner and reported a cumulative net profit of Rs 222 crore.