Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
The Central Information Commission has directed the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to disclose the amount deposited in Jan-Dhan accounts of various banks in the form of demonetised currency reported by The India Express.
Subhash Aggarwal, a right to information activist, had filed an RTI application with RBI seeking the details of demonetised currency deposited in Jan Dhan accounts and other details related to demonetisation. When the RBI failed to give any details, Aggarwal approached the information commission requesting the disclosure of the information. Sudhir Bhargava, Information Commissioner, has ordered the RBI to disclose the information requested. He also directed the RBI that if in case the information is not available with them, the bank will file “an affidavit with the commission” disposing of that no record related to the information sought were available with it. Subhash Aggarwal seeks details about the complaints against bank officers, money deposited in various accounts, and the total quantum of demonetised currency exchanged by people.
The Prime Minister’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched in August 2014. The aim was to put people under a formal banking system even in the remote areas. The scheme was meant for financial inclusion, would ensure access to financial services – banking or savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pensions in banks.
After the Union Government Demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8, 2016, there was a surge in the accounts opened under Jan Dhan Yojana. Not only that, the account deposits witnessed a rise touching approximate Rs 80,000 Crore till April 2018, according to the Indian Express.
Soon after the Demonetisation, reports start coming alleging the misuse of Jan Dhan accounts, as they were used to convert Black Money into White money. Following this the Government issued a press release on November 18 warning that the those who are using Jan Dhan accounts to convert black money to white money shall be punished. It has also been reported in Jan Dhan accounts.
The press release also said, “The person who allows his or her account to be misused for this purpose can be prosecuted for abetment under the Income Tax Act.”
According to the Government data, Rs. 300 Crore were deposited in Jan Dhan accounts in the first seven months after Demonetisation. As reported by The Hindu, Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar in November 2016, said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, “As on November 16, 25.58 Crore accounts with aggregate deposits of Rs 64,252.15 Crore have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) across the country”. Out of 25.58 Crore accounts, 23 percent are zero balance accounts, he said.
The Commission has also directed the bank to disclose the information on public and private banks officers who were facing action for not following RBI guidelines post-demonetisation. The Commission also wanted the records related to the seizure of bundles of cash of new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes introduced post-demonetisation.
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