IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Till December 2011, Abhimanyu Thakur of Hare Tola in Bunkheta panchayat of Ramgarh district got his old age pension of Rs 400 a month through his account in Bank of Baroda. He used to spend Rs 50-60 every trip and it was not certain he would be able to withdraw his money. Sometimes, the bank official would be on leave or the computer would go on the blink. But in January 2012, he was told that the bank would come to him: a business correspondent (BC) would disperse the money at the panchayat office, just a couple of km from his home.
Since January, he has withdrawn his pension twice through the Bank of India’s BC Rajesh Kumar who authenticates his unique identity or Aadhaar on his micro- ATM. Thakur has no record of how much has been withdrawn and what the balance in his account is. He has no clue whether his pension since January is coming through Bank of India or Bank of Baroda. This is a problem not just for old age pensioners but also for MGNREGA workers whose job cards are not updated.
Although some BCs maintain a register of the transactions and get the entries signed by the beneficiary, most of those involved in UID pilots in Jharkhand are not doing so. Apparently, a beneficiary has to go to the bank for that. While the nationalised and private banks are on an account opening spree to meet financial inclusion targets, their customers are clueless about their no-frills bank accounts. Not one of them has any idea in which bank they have their accounts, much less what their account number is. In all the three districts that Down To Earth visited no bank had issued passbooks.
Mayank Dhar Tiwari, senior manager, Bank of India, Ratu branch, says that his branch has opened more than 1,000 accounts for the UID pilot and insist that at least 500 have been given passbooks. “It’s not that we don’t issue passbooks. You have probably met those people who have not been issued passbooks as yet.” Banks complain they are operating on wafer thin margins and are probably cutting costs. They pay BCs Rs 10 for opening an account, a 10 per cent commission on debt recovery and two per cent for MGNREGA payments apart from a salary that can vary between Rs 3,500 and Rs 5,500. BCs, however, have to have a minimum of Rs 10,000 in their accounts before they are taken on the banks or the financial service providers.
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