Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the first-quarter performance review of public sector banks on Fridaythat four banks are investigating from their branches whether account-holders have put in money in their zero-balance accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana or business correspondents have done it as a window-dressing measure.
This follows media reports that officials in some branches of Punjab and Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India have themselves deposited a token amount of ₹1 in Jan Dhan accounts to reduce the number of zero-balance accounts.
Jaitley noted that there are 24 crore Jan Dhan accounts with total deposits of ₹42,000 crore.
“You don’t get ₹ 42,000 crores by just collecting ₹1 deposits. Of course, there are some accounts with zero balances. Banks are verifying details of those accounts where such small deposits of ₹1 were made,” he said.