Centre to ‘ascertain’ facts after fraud allegations in Jan Dhan Yojna embarrasses PM

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Finance ministry has said that it was looking into the allegations of manipulation and fraud related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme Jan Dhan Yojna.

The union government on 13 September was left red-faced after a report in Indian Express said that many bank officials, citing “pressure from above,” were quietly depositing Re 1 into zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts to reduce their share.

The revelation came as government said that since April, there had been an addition of about Rs 6,000 crore under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

The revelation came on the day a senior minister, Nitin Gadkari, confessed that PM Modi’s promise of achche din should not have been taken in literal sense adding that ‘good days never come.

There were reports that some bankers have deliberately deposited small amount in PMJDY accounts so that they do not remain under the category of zero balance.

From September 2014 to August 19, 2015, the number of zero-balance accounts declined from 76 per cent to 45.74 per cent, then to 24.32 per cent on July 27, 2016.

The Congress on Wednesday latched on to the reports of “sly game” of depositing Re 1 to reduce the number of zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts to accuse the Modi government of “fooling the nation” through “lies, deceit and trickery”.

“Rhetoric and ‘jumlas’ having become the sole hallmark of this government. The Prime Minister seems to be buying the loyalty of people at the rate of Re 1,” the party said.

PMJDY, a national mission on financial inclusion, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day – 2014 speech and was formally launched by him on August 28 of same year with the main objective of covering all households with at least one bank account per household across the country.

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