MUMBAI: Concerned over Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts being used for money laundering, Reserve Bank of India has placed fresh curbs on cash withdrawals. Account holders can withdraw a maximum of Rs 10,000 per month from accounts where know- your-customer (KYC) formalities are complete and Rs 5,000 from non KYC accounts.
As against this customers can withdraw up to Rs 24,000 every week from regular bank accounts. In a circular issued to all banks across the country on Wednesday, RBI said that the step has been taken to protect innocent farmers and rural account holders under the Prime Minister’s JDY scheme from the activities of money launders and legal consequences under the Benami Property Transaction & Money laundering laws. The law on Benami property gives the Income Tax department’s initiating officer to hold the property of a ‘benamidar’ (person holding property on someone else’s behalf).
There are total of 25.68 crore Jan Dhan accounts in the country of which 15.74 crore are in rural areas and 9.94 crore in cities. Around a fifth of these accounts continue to be zero balance accounts but the balance in these accounts has jumped to Rs 72,834 crore.
This has increased from Rs 45,636.61 crore as on November 9 from 25.51 crore accounts.
These curbs will apply on bank accounts that have been funded with notes after they have been withdrawn from circulation. RBI has clarified that these measures are temporary and bank managers can use their discretion on higher withdrawals in accounts that are KYC compliant.
Deposits under 25.5 crore PMJDY accounts had jumped more than 50%to Rs 66,637 crore last week from Rs 45,637 crore before demonetisation. Many of these bank accounts, which were in active ones with zero balance suddenly started receiving deposits.
Bankers said that deposits have continued to grow in these bank accounts. These accounts were opened as part of a financial inclusion programme two years ago. Since the object to open universal bank accounts some of the KYC norms were relaxed. However, withdrawals were limited to a maximum of Rs 50,000 a month.