Jan Dhan accounts swelled by Rs2,554 cr between July and October

Total balances in the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) bank accounts increased by Rs2,554 crore between July and October this year to Rs67,330 crore, showing a big spurt in cash flows to these zero balance accounts.

Of the Rs2,554-crore inflows, Rs1,108 was added between July and August while Rs722 crore was added between August and September and Rs724 was added between September and October.

This compares with inflows of about Rs400 crore between mid-May and mid-July.

Banks, however, are not in a position to explain the possible causes of the sudden spurt in cash flows into these accounts. These will be looked into in the second quarter results, they point out.

Meanwhile, there had also been an addition of about 10 million beneficiaries of the Jan Dhan scheme in the past three months, which could have caused the cumulative balance to increase. The total number of accounts as of 11 October stood at 304.5 million against 294.8 million two months ago.

The scheme, which was launched on 15 August 2014 with a target to provide universal access to banking facilities, had attracted funds to the tune of Rs65,697 crore in the three years following its launch (that is, as on 9 August 2017).

Most of the scheme's beneficiaries hold accounts in rural and semi-urban branches.

While these accounts witnessed a slow growth after the initial spurt immediately after the demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November 2016, new accounts are still being opened in rural bank branches.

The increased focus on Aadhaar and digitisation and the increased use of RuPay cards, have combined to incentivising the rural population to keep balances in their accounts, say bankers.

The National Payment Corporation of India has so far issued about 230 million RuPay Debit cards to Jan Dhan account holders, according to reports