New Delhi, PTI. State Bank of India (SBI) has yet to refund Rs 164 crore collected from account holders of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana for digital payments between April 2017 and December 2019. According to a report prepared by Mumbai-based Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) on the Jan Dhan account scheme, only Rs 90 crore has been returned to the account holders so far even after receiving instructions from the government to refund this fee. An amount of Rs 164 crore is yet to be returned.
According to the report, the bank had collected a total of over Rs 254 crore for UPI and RuPay transactions from ordinary savings accounts opened under Jan Dhan Yojana during April, 2017 to September, 2020. In this, the bank had charged Rs 17.70 per transaction from the account holders. When contacted to know the bank’s side in this regard, there was no response.
The special thing is that unlike any other bank, SBI started charging fees for digital transactions by Jan Dhan account holders from June 1, 2017. The bank was charging Rs 17.70 per transaction for more than four withdrawals in a month. This move of the bank adversely affected the Jan Dhan account holders doing digital transactions on the call of the government.
It has been said in the report that when this attitude of the bank was complained to the Finance Ministry in August, 2020, it took immediate action. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a circular on August 30, 2020 for banks to refund the fees charged from account holders with effect from January 1, 2020. Apart from this, no such fee should be charged in future. After this, SBI started the process of refunding the fees charged for digital transactions from Jan-Dhan account holders on February 17, 2021. Statistics professor Ashish Das, who prepared the report, says that Rs 164 crore is yet to be returned to these account holders.