Around 50% of the Rs 21,000 crore deposited in Jan Dhan accounts since November 8 could be “suspicious” transactions, a senior government official told HT on the condition of anonymity. The income-tax department is probing these transactions, he added.
The government on November 8 announced its decision to stop the circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the country.
The tax department will first examine those accounts, which remained inactive or received limited funds since they were opened, but have been flushed with deposits in the last two weeks. The highest chunk of deposits has come in from states, including West Bengal and Karnataka.
“We have noticed discrepancies in several Jan Dhan accounts and we are examining them. People using these accounts or any other accounts to park their illegal money will not be spared,” a senior finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told HT.
The total balance was in the Jan Dhan accounts was Rs 45,636.61 crore before the demonetisation drive kicked off.
“There are lots of genuine deposits too and the money that has come in was being simply hoarded at home, more as a habit..But we have to differentiate these deposits from the suspicious ones,” said the official quoted above.
More than 250 million accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) since August 28, 2014. A third of these accounts have received deposits of Rs 50,000 in the last few days — the maximum permissible limit for such accounts without quoting the Permanent Account Number (PAN).
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had said earlier that Jan Dhan accounts will be thoroughly scrutinised. “There are reports that there has been a surge in deposits in some of Jan Dhan accounts. We are aware of this and we will monitor the desposits. Any person who indulges in any unlawful activity will not be spared.”