Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today stated that four PSU banks are working towards keeping the number of zero-balance accounts low. The banks are "investigating from their branches" whether money in some Jandhan accounts was deposited by account holders themselves or by business correspondents, he said.
He was responding to a question on media report alleging that bankers in some branches of Punjab and Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India have themselves deposited Re 1 in the Jandhan accounts to reduce the number of zero-balance accounts.
"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. After that the banks will give their report to the Department of Financial Services," Mr Jaitley said.
He held a meeting with the heads of PSU banks today to review the quarterly performance of lenders.
Mr Jaitley said there are 24 crore Jandhan accounts but Rs. 42,000 crore have 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.
PMJDY, the flagship financial inclusion scheme of the government, aims to provide financial services, deposit accounts, remittances, credit and accident insurance to everyone.
It also seeks to inculcate a widespread banking habit and create credit histories of account holders, thereby facilitating them to access overdraft/credit from banks.
(With PTI inputs)