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4 Feb 2017

Gujrat tops Jan Dhan accounts

TT, New Delhi, Feb. 3: Gujarat witnessed the sharpest spurt in deposits in Jan Dhan accounts after demonetisation, followed by Karnataka, while other states are far behind, according to government data.
The spurt in deposits in Jan Dhan accounts is by no means conclusive proof of suspicious transactions in all accounts. A large number of people do keep cash at home and they must have deposited it in a hurry to beat the conversion deadline. However, the sharp rise does echo suggestions that some accounts might have been used to park illegal funds on behalf of third parties.
Jan Dhan accounts in Gujarat had Rs 1,628.87 crore balance on November 9, 2016 - the day demonetisation roared off the ground. By January 25, this year, the cumulative deposits in such accounts in the state had touched Rs 3,159.33 crore - a jump of almost 94 per cent.
In Karnataka, the figure on November 9 was 1,412.96 crore, which shot up to Rs 2,568.76 crore or by 82 per cent on January 25. At 35 per cent, Bengal was far behind (see chart).
In absolute terms, the money deposited in Jan Dhan accounts in Bengal between November 9 and January 25 totalled Rs 2,227 crore, higher than the Rs 1,531 crore in Gujarat. But the population of Bengal is higher than that of Gujarat. For instance, Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, received the maximum deposits of Rs 3,377 crore during the post-demonetisation phase.
The figures were listed in a written reply by finance minister Arun Jaitley to a question from BJP member Chandulal Sahu in the Lok Sabha today.
Jaitley said the income tax department has issued more than 5,100 notices on cash deposits in bank accounts between November 9 and December 30 that "prima facie, did not appear to be in line with the profile of account holders". Some accounts are in the Jan Dhan category.
Junior minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a reply that the government had not come across any "confirmed reports" of detection of counterfeit notes of Rs 2,000.
Santosh Gangwar, another junior minister, said bank employees were linked to illegal transactions of old notes valued at Rs 71.47 crore from November 9 to December 30.

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