SBI Alert! Jan Dhan account holders yet to receive Rs 164 crore refund for undue fee: Report

New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI) hasn’t returned Rs 164 crore of the undue fee charged from the account holders of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) towards digital payments during April 2017 and December 2019 yet, said the latest report by IIT-Mumbai. 

The report added, “On directions from the government, SBI has returned just about Rs 90 crore, thereby withholding the bigger chunk of at least Rs 164 crore with itself.,” 

From April 2017 to September 2020, the largest public lender in the country had collected more than Rs 254 crore towards at least 14 crore UPI/ RuPay transactions. The bank reportedly made Rs 17.70 per transaction on BSBDA (Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account) customers under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

The report said that since June 1, 2017, SBI charged Rs 17.70 for every debit transaction beyond four a month, unlike any other private or public bank in India. 

Queries sent to the country’s largest lender on return of charges levied on debit transactions done by such account holders during the said period of 33 months did not elicit any response, PTI reported. 

A debit transaction means any withdrawal transaction including cash withdrawal via ATMs, payments via Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) pre-authorised standing instruction, cheque, etc.

Since SBI was charging on each transaction, the undue fee has adversely impacted the BSBDA customers of SBI who, at first, had embraced digital means of financial transactions.

In mid-August 2020, the issue was raised in front of the Finance Ministry. “The Ministry was prompt in their actions and the CBDT by end-August 2020, advised SBI to refund the charges collected since January 1, 2020 on transactions carried out using the prescribed digital payment modes,” it said.

Further, on August 30, 2020, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had advised banks to return such charges collected since January 1, 2020, on transactions carried out using the prescribed digital payment modes that include the UPI and the RuPay debit card. The department had also urged not to impose such charges on future transactions carried out through such modes. Also Read: Bank Holidays in November 2021: Banks to remain closed for 5 days; online banking open 24/7

Following the CBDT directive, SBI had started initiating a refund of Rs 17.70 for the UPI and RuPay debit card digital transactions to the BSBDA customers, the report prepared by Ashish Das, Professor of Statistics, said. Also Read: This old Re 1 coin can make you a crorepati; here’s how

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