Chidambaram slams Jan Dhan Yojana as Modi’s ‘jumla’; says, accounts helped launder money post demonetisation

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Published: November 2, 2018 10:39:47 AM

Jan Dhan Yojana is ‘another jumla’ of the Narendra Modi government and these bank accounts were used to launder money after demonetisation, said former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Between November 8, 2016 and December 30, 2016, a substantial amount of Rs 42,187 crore was deposited in the bank accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana.

Jan Dhan Yojana is ‘another jumla’ of the Narendra Modi government and these bank accounts were used to launder money after demonetisation, The Indian Express reported citing former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Further targeting the BJP-government, veteran Congress leader said the entire exercise is a ‘mass deception’ and customers received no ‘comparable benefits.’

“Jan Dhan Yojana is another jumla and an exercise in mass deception by PM Modi and his government. The funds were supposed to be cost-free for struggling banks, but they are required to bear the cost of the accounts. SBI alone has spent Rs 775 crore as on 31 December 2016 for maintaining the accounts. In any event, there are no comparable benefits to the customer,” The Indian Express reported him saying.

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Between November 8, 2016 and December 30, 2016, a substantial amount of Rs 42,187 crore was deposited in the bank accounts under Jan Dhan Yojana, he said. Even though a legal action was threatened by the Finance Minister on November 12, 2016, Finance Secretary ruled out any probe thereafter, calling it a ‘ time consuming process,’ Chidambaram said.

By December 2016, 24 percent of the accounts with banks were zero balance accounts and there is no data available in the public for the subsequent period, he added. Since the bank managers were encouraged to deposit Rs 1 in the account, the remaining 15-20 percent hold a ‘balance,’ he said further. One out of five or 6.1 crore Jan Dhan accounts are ‘inactive’ at present, Chidambaram said citing an answer by Ministry of Finance.

Jan Dhan Yojana, is government’s financial inclusion program that targets to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts. It was launched by Narendra Modi on his first Independence Day speech on 15 August 2014.

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