Hefty deposits in Tripura banks prompts probe
According to United Bank of India officials, of the 830,742 PMJDY accounts in Tripura's 501 bank branches, 115,000 accounts were zero balance on November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation.
"Rs 227 crore were deposited in the PMJDY accounts after November 8 raising the total amount deposited so far in these accounts to Rs 654 crore," an official of the UBI said on Monday on condition of anonymity.
The issue was heatedly debated in the ongoing winter session of the Tripura assembly and the lawmakers of the opposition parties demanded a probe.
Former opposition leader and sitting senior Congress legislator Ratan Lal Nath said : "It was extremely mysterious how such an amount was deposited in the PMJDY accounts in Tripura, as the scheme is meant for poor, women and economically weaker section of society."
"Central government or Reserve Bank of India must inquire how such a large amount was deposited in the PMJDY accounts.
"For tax evasion some people might have deposited their unaccounted money in these PMJDY accounts with the help of a section of bank officials," he added.
"As tribals in the northeastern states are exempted from paying income tax, government must inquire whether black money being adjusted as white money by taking scope of this rule of the scheme illegally," the Congress leader added.
People of rural, remote and unbanked areas were to get the priority in the PMJDY which was launched on August 28, 2014 with a deposit limit of Rs 50,000.
Bank official said that the PMJDY was a national mission to include all households in the country in the financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services that include banking, deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, pension in an affordable manner.
"As the bank account under the PMJDY would be treated as Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account, no minimum balance would be required during the opening of the account," he said.