After the investigation conducted by the Indian Express on September 13, 2016, which revealed that bank officials were depositing Re.1 in in bank accounts to reduce the count of zero-balance accounts in their branch, two major public sector banks have accepted that they did use this trick. Bank of Barodra and Bank of India accepted that they asked their staff members to make the deposits to reduce the number of zero-balance accounts opened under Jan-Dhan Yojana.
According to the findings by the Indian Express, 23.4 crore Jan Dhan accounts were opened across 27 public sector banks in India including Bhartiya Mahila Bank till September 13, 2016 but out of these, about 5.5 percent i.e. 1.2 crore accounts showed Re.1 as the only transaction.
Interestingly, the zero-balance accounts in the country fell down reduced from 76% in September 2014 to 46% in August 2015 and hit a new low of 24.35% on August 31, 2016. According to the information obtained by the Indian Express under the RTI, Bank of India accounted for 10.31% of accounts with only Re.1 transactions followed by Canara Bank with 7.88%, Central Bank of India (13.71%), Punjab and Sind Bank (17.71%), Punjab National Bank (20.73%), Andhra Bank (10.24%), Union Bank of India (10.28%) and Vijaya Bank (9.37%).
The DFS statement to PMO clearly stated that 2 percent of Bank of Baroda accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana have received Re.1 from Profit and Loss accounts while in some cases money was transferred by the banking correspondents to Bank of India. Other banks have denied any such activity and have promised tighter vigilance over the entire issue.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was started with an aim to ensure access to financial services to Indian citizens and bring them under the banking system. The accounts opened under this scheme are zero-balance savings account which don’t demand the holders to maintain a monthly balance. To open an account under this scheme you only require an Aadhar card or a Aadhar number.