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How much demonetised currency was deposited in Jan Dhan bank accounts? CIC asks RBI to disclose

Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava ordered the RBI to disclose details of demonetised currency deposited in Jan Dhan accounts to activist Subhash Agrawal, who has also demanded some other details related to demonetisation.

Jan Dhan accounts had come into focus after demonetisation on November 8, 2016. (IE)

The Central Information Commission has directed the Reserve Bank of India to disclose the amount deposited in Jan Dhan accounts of various banks in the form of demonetised currency. Launched in August 2014, Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is a national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services — banking or savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, pension in banks.

Jan Dhan accounts had come into focus after demonetisation on November 8, 2016, when the deposits witnessed a meteoric rise, touching an approximate Rs 80,000 crore in April this year. Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava ordered the RBI to disclose details of demonetised currency deposited in Jan Dhan accounts to activist Subhash Agrawal, who has also demanded some other details related to demonetisation.

The Union government demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes on November 8, 2016. Bhargava directed the RBI that in case the information was not available with it, the bankers’ bank will file “an affidavit with the commission” disposing that no record related to the information sought were available with it.

The commission also directed the respondent to provide information on the total amount of demonetised currency notes exchanged with new notes. Besides Jan Dhan accounts, the CIC directed the RBI to disclose the total amount deposited in the form of demonetised notes in savings and current accounts of banks.

Agrawal had filed an RTI application with the RBI, seeking to know details related to the demonetisation exercise, complaints against bank officers, money deposited in various accounts, and the total quantum of demonetised currency exchanged by people. Not getting any information from the RBI, Agrawal approached the commission with his appeal seeking disclosure of the information.

The CIC also ordered disclosure of information on public and private banks and their officers against whom action was initiated for not following RBI guidelines post demonetisation and records related to seizure of bundles of cash of new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes introduced post-demonetisation.

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