At an event in Washington DC, India's finance minister Arun Jaitley said that over 80% of 25 crore bank accounts opened in the Jan Dhan Yojana were functional and had cash in them. According to the Jan Dhan Yojana website, the total number of accounts stands at 24.98 crore. The percentage of zero balance accounts stood at 23.67% as of October 5. These accounts also had Rs 44,221.27 crore in them in total with accounts opened by public sector banks contributing a major part to them with Rs 35,137.79 crore. The government has been pushing its financial inclusion agenda through the Jan Dhan accounts and subsidies for fuel, fertilizer and food have been getting transferred into these accounts. However, a report from the Indian Express paints a completely different picture on what is happening with Jan Dhan accounts. The publication said that a huge of the accounts opened through public sector banks have been dressing up their data to show lower number of zero balance accounts. The report added that public sector banks have been adding Re 1 in these accounts to give the appearance that they are being used by people. RTI information from 18 public sector banks and 16 regional banks showed 1.05 crore accounts only held Re 1 balance in them. There were a few cases where Rs 5 or Rs 10 was deposited by banks. The Indian Express also interviewed a number of bank officials where they explained that the funds for boosting these accounts came from entertainment allowance, conveyance…
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