In a major crackdown on laundering unaccounted money through Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts, Income Tax Department on Friday found that undisclosed amount of Rs 1.64 crore deposited by people who never filed income returns into Jan Dhan accounts. These accounts were found in Kolkata, Bihar, Kochi and Varanasi. The Income Tax Department initiated probe into sudden surge in cash deposits in Jan Dhan accounts and found various inconsistencies. While monitoring these accounts, Rs 40 lakh seized from one such account in Bihar. Since it is undisclosed income, so detected will be brought to tax as per provisions of IT Act,1961.
To curb misuse of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts to convert black money into white, the Reserve Bank of India has capped withdrawals from KYC-compliant Jan Dhan accounts at R10,000 a month, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. For non-KYC-compliant accounts, the cap will be Rs 5,000. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio address “Mann ki Baat” on Sunday warned of strict action against those using Jan Dhan accounts to launder black money under the recently amended benami law.
“With a view to protect the innocent farmers and rural account holders of PMJDY from activities of money launders and legal consequences under the Benami Property Transaction & Money Laundering laws, it has been decided to place certain limits, as a matter of precaution, on the operations in the PMJDY accounts funded through deposits of Specified Bank Notes after November 09, 2016,” the RBI said in a notification to banks. It, however, has given some leeway to bank branch managers to allow withdrawals beyond R10,000 a month for KYC-compliant accounts within the current applicable limit (R24,000 per week) only after ascertaining the genuineness of such withdrawals and duly documenting the same on the bank’s record. People with non-KYC accounts could deposit a maximum R50,000 in their accounts. Deposits in PMJDY accounts have been surging relentlessly. In just 14 days — between November 10 and 23 — R27,197 crore was added to these accounts, which was more than 60% of the inflows during the previous 770 days. It was obvious that these accounts, integral to the Modi government’s plan for financial inclusion and direct benefit transfer, are being rampantly misused by black money holders post-demonetisation, possibly with the involvement of bank officials.
In the first two weeks of demonetisation, the total balance in no-frills accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana increased by 60% to Rs 72,834.72 crore. That is a jump of Rs 27,198.11 crore in 14 days. To put this in perspective, the scheme, launched in August 2014, took 16 months until December 2015 before it could accumulate a net balance of Rs 27,283.05 crore, an Indian Express report said.