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RBI Cautions Banks On Jan Dhan Accounts

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The Reserve Bank on Friday warned the banks to be careful while opening accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana, saying that a single individual could open multiple accounts in the lure of Rs 100,000 insurance cover.
"There are some caveats when the banks are implementing the financial inclusion scheme under the recently launched Jan Dhan programme," RBI Executive Director P Vijay Bhaskar said at a seminar in the eastern state West Bengal's capital city on Friday.
He said people could open accounts in different banks using different identity documents like PAN card, Aadhar among others in the lure of getting insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh from all the banks.
The banks should have a single information sharing system by which this possible misuse could be stopped.
Another possible threat was "smurfing", the RBI official said.
In this case, hawala operators would spilt the whole amount into several small units beyond the threshold using several bank accounts and send money overseas.
The last was "money mules" by which an individual would operate through another person's bank account.
Talking about the north-eastern region, he said the state-level banking committees (SLBCs) and the state-level coordination committees (SLCCs) should take steps to improve the credit-deposit ratio of the region as the CD ratio was much lower than the national average.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had recently cautioned banks on the risks involved in just hunting for numbers with regards to Jan Dhan scheme, asking them not to compromise on core objectives of the programme.
"When we roll out the scheme, we have to make sure it does not go off the track. The target is universality, not just speed and numbers," Rajan had said.
The scheme can be a "waste" if it leads to duplication of accounts, if no transaction happens on the new accounts and if the new users get bad experiences, he had added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the scheme in August to end "financial untouchability" by ensuring that the majority of households in the country of nearly 1.3 billion people has a bank account within months.
If successful, the scheme could help mend strained state finances by better targeting billions of dollars in welfare spending as well as relieving poverty in a country where about 40 per cent of the population has no access to banking.

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