The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has started a country-wide exercise to inspect ‘suspicious’ deposits in ‘Jan Dhan’ bank accounts after reports of sudden jump in such transactions emerged post-demonetisation.
FIU asked all banks to provide balances and transaction activities in these accounts, before and after the demonetisation move.
The agency has already accumulated details about 6 crore ‘Jan Dhan’ accounts till November 20 and are also in loop with the Income Tax department and other law enforcement agencies.
The tax department has recently warned people against depositing their unaccounted old currency in someone else’s bank account, as it had said it will slap charges under the newly enforced Benami Transactions Act against violators that carries a penalty, prosecution and rigorous jail term of a maximum seven years.
The FIU, under the Union Finance Ministry, is the national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions after obtaining Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) from banks and a host of other financial intermediary’s.
The ‘Jan Dhan’ accounts have seen a huge surge in deposits, with Rs 21,000 crore being parked in such accounts following demonetisation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
West Bengal leads the pack of states which has seen the highest deposits so far followed by Karnataka.
Following the currency scrap, the total balance has touched Rs 66,636 crore. As of November 9, the balance in about 25.5 crore such accounts was Rs 45,636.61 crore.
With a view to increasing banking penetration and promoting financial inclusion and with the main objective of covering all households with at least one bank account per household across the country, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) was launched on August 28, 2014.
Such accounts have a deposit limit of Rs 50,000.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that the government is looking into sudden ‘popping up’ of money into these zero-balance accounts.