Money & Banking

FinMin asks banks to stagger ex-gratia payment to women PMJDY beneficiaries

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on April 02, 2020

The Finance Ministry has told banks that they should follow a staggered schedule based on the last digit of the account number of women Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) account holders to disburse the Rs 500 per month ex-gratia under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

In the backdrop of outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, ex-gratia disbursements to the woman PMJDY beneficiaries are sought to be spread over five days beginning April 3 to avoid rush at the branches, Business Correspondent (BC) kiosks and ATMs for withdrawal of money.

The objective of the move to stagger the arrival of women PMJDY beneficiaries at branches, BCsand ATMs is to maintain social distancing; and ensure orderly withdrawal of money. As at March 25, 2020, there were 20.51 crore women PMJDY account holders.

The ex-gratia payment of Rs 500 per woman PMJDY account holders for the next three months was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala on March 26th as part of the Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against corona virus

Last digit of a/c no. and day of disbursement

As per the ministry’s suggestion to Banks, women PMJDY account holders having account number with the last digit as 0 or 1 can withdraw the ex-gratia amount on April 3; 2 or 3 on April 4; 4 or 5 on April 7; 6 or 7 on April 8); and 8 or 9 on April 9.

The ministry also asked Banks to inform each women PMJDY account holder regarding the above mentioned schedule via sms, clearly stating that a sum of Rs 500 has been deposited in her account for the month of April 2020 and that she should contact her Branch/ Bank Mitra (BC agents) tomorrow/on a particular day to avoid inconvenience.

After April 9, the beneficiaries can go to the branch or BC on any day as per normal banking hours.

Publicity regarding withdrawal

In addition to sms messages, the ministry said Banks may carry out local publicity (through local channels/ print media/ cable operators/ local radio/ other channels) making it clear that the money credited to the accounts is available for withdrawal when required.

If the beneficiary needs to withdraw the money immediately, she can approach the bank branch or BC as per the above mentioned schedule. Banks, in their publicity, need to emphasise that the schedule has been drawn up in the interest of orderly disbursement while maintaining social distancing.

According to the ministry, State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) convenors may immediately contact the state governments, apprise them of the staggering plan and seek their support for suitable security arrangements at branches, BC kiosks and ATMs.

The state government may also be requested to issue suitable instructions to the district administration and police authorities to support the banks in arranging orderly disbursement of money to the beneficiaries and in carrying out local publicity.

Published on April 02, 2020

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