Jan Dhan deposits rise Rs1,000 cr as withdrawal trend reverses

The net balance in Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts rose Rs1,000 crore and stood at Rs63,971.38 crore during the week ended 5 April as the trend of withdrawals from the zero-balance accounts reversed in the last quarter of fiscal 2016-17.

The net balance in the PMJDY accounts was Rs62,972.42 crore on 29 March 2017, finance ministry data showed.

Total deposits in these accounts had increased to a record high of Rs74,610 crore as of 7 December 2016 as people rushed to deposit old demonetised currency in bank accounts before the 30 December deadline.

However, since then these deposits have started declining gradually amidst rumours that much of the amount deposited in these accounts are routed by black money holders to 'benami' accounts.

The declining trend has now been reversed and as per finance ministry data, for the first time the net balance in the accounts has shown an increase on a weekly basis as of 5 April 2017.

PMJDY was launched in August 2014 as part of the government' effort towards financial inclusion to increase banking penetration and promote financial inclusion in the country.

Meanwhile, the number of Jan Dhan accounts have increased to 282.3 million, of which 185.0 million have been seeded with Aadhaar.

The deposits in the accounts had surged following demonetisation of old Rs500 / 1000 notes in November last year.

After setting a cash deposit limit of Rs50,000 in Jan Dhan accounts, the government had cautioned account holders on 18 November that they will be prosecuted under the I-T Act for allowing misuse of their bank accounts through deposit of black money in Rs500 /1,000 notes during the 50-day window till 30 December.