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One crore Jan Dhan A/Cs frozen last year

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Nearly one crore accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) were frozen in the last year due to lack of any transactions, according to Central government data. It is also noted that out of 28.02 crore Jan Dhan accounts, only 1.8 crore operational ones have deposits of more than Rs.5,000. 

State Bank of India,. the country's largest public sector bank has so far spent Rs.774.86 crore on keeping Jan Dhan accounts. Last month, SBI along with a few other select banks started levying penalty on non-maintenance of minimum balance in accounts. In order to justify its move SBI said it needs to impose some charges to balance the “burden” of managing a large number of no-frills Jan Dhan accounts.

Though nearly one-fourth of the total PMJDY accounts still remain zero-balance, the situation has improved significantly over the November-February period of 2015-16.  At the beginning of the demonetisation process, the zero-balance accounts stood at 23.27 per cent of the total deposits. It came down to 22.84 per cent by 30 November. At present , the zero-balance accounts stand at 24.86 per cent.

Banks, specially the public sector ones, are facing a huge challenge on the non-performing assets front. Though the RBI, banks and Finance Ministry is trying out possible ways to reduce the burden of growing NPAs, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, minister of state for finance, said in a written reply to Parliament that there were 9,130 willful defaulters who owe Rs.91,155 crore to public sector banks.