A report by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revealed that around Rs 11,302 crore is lying unclaimed with banks. The report says that the amount belongs to over three crore bank account holders in 64 banks across India.
State Bank of India holds the largest amount of Rs 1,262 crore, while the recently affected state-owned Punjab National Bank has Rs 1,250 crore lying. The remaining Rs 7,040 crore lies with other 62 nationalised banks.
According to The Times of India, all this money, however, is just a fraction of the total deposits of over Rs 100 lakh crore handled by banks in India.
Speaking in IIM Bangalore, Charan Singh, former RBI chair professor said, “Most of these deposits would be cases of deceased account holders or people with multiple bank accounts. It is unlikely that too much of it, or maybe any of it, is benami or unaccounted money.”
The revelation came to light because of the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. According to section 26 of the Act, banks submit details of all Indian accounts which have not been operated for 10 years within 30 days after the close of the calendar year. However, section 26A says that the depositor can claim the account after the expiry of the period of 10 years and the bank is liable to repay the amount.
The Banking Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012 says that the unclaimed money lying in the account is transferred to Depositor Education and Awareness Fund.
25 foreign banks operating in India are also on the list with Rs 332 crore unclaimed money lying with them.
If the amount remains unclaimed for long, it can be used to waive the loans taken by farmers and used for developmental programs.