The Finance Ministry on Tuesday informed the Rajya Sabha that over 5.82 crore Jan Dhan (PMJDY) accounts are inoperative. This is 14 per cent of the total number of accounts.

It means at least one out of 10 Jan Dhan accounts is inoperative. According to guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, “a savings as well as current account should be treated as inoperative/dormant if there are no transactions in the account for over a period of two years.”

For the purpose of classifying an account as ‘inoperative’ both types of transactions i.e. debit as well as credit, induced at the instance of customers as well as third party, should be considered. This is key as these accounts are also used for payment under welfare schemes, food grain procurement mechanism or even rural employment guarantee programmes.

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In a written response to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Bhagwat Karad, said: “The total inoperative accounts under PMJDY as on 28.07.2021 are approx. 5.82 crore. Out of the total, women inoperative accounts are approx. 2.02 crore. This constitutes around 35 per cent of total inoperative accounts.”

Financial literacy camps

According to the website of PMJDY, total number of Jan Dhan accounts is 42.83 crore with a balance of nearly ₹1.43 lakh crore.

The Minister said that RBI has advised Financial Literacy Centres (FLCs) and rural branches of banks to conduct outdoor financial literacy camps for customers in collaboration with ground-level stakeholders at the district/panchayat/village level. They also conduct specific camps for target audience like farmers, small entrepreneurs, self-help groups, senior citizens, etc., including women. The Centre for Financial Literacy project of the RBI also imparts financial education to adults, including women. In addition, banks organise camps to create awareness about banking habits, including the benefits of keeping the account active.

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“As a result of these initiatives, the percentage of number of inoperative PMJDY accounts for PSBs has declined from 18.08 per cent in March ’20 to 14.02 per cent in July ’21,” Karad said.

He further said the RBI has advised banks to ensure that DBT payments to accounts are not rejected due to savings bank accounts being classified as inoperative/dormant. Also, banks have been advised to give a separate product code for accounts receiving DBT payments so that the accounts are not classified as inoperative.

PMJDY was launched on August 28, 2014. Under the scheme, a basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitra) outlet by persons not having any other account. There is no requirement to maintain any minimum balance in PMJDY accounts. Interest is earned on the deposit in PMJDY accounts. Rupay Debit card is provided to PMJDY account holder. Accident Insurance Cover of ₹1 lakh (enhanced to ₹2 lakh to new PMJDY accounts opened after August 28, 2018) is available with RuPay card issued to the PMJDY account holders. An overdraft (OD) facility up to ₹10,000 is available for eligible account holders.

Inoperative Jan Dhan Accounts

Source: Rajya Sabha