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Over 33 lakh dormant Jan Dhan bank accounts in Bengal as Centre fails to deposit subsidies


KOLKATA: With no transactions recorded in past one-and-a-half months, more than 33 lakh Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan yojona (PMJY) bank accounts in West Bengal, which is 8% of total such accounts in the state, have been lying dormant.

Officials of the state finance department said none of these dormant accounts was credited with any subsidy deposited by the Centre, which shows the account holders did not even access schemes like PM Ujjwala Yojana that offers free LPG cylinders.

In Bengal, a total of 4,08,93,000 PMJY accounts have been opened and now 33.65 lakh accounts are inoperative. 

Records available with the state government also showed that 1.56 cylinders were procured per subscriber between April and June last year under the Ujjwala scheme, and the figure came down to 0.85 between January and March this year.

Economists said a major chunk of Ujjwala subscribers could not even buy a single LPG cylinder under the scheme for underprivileged families.

“April to June last year saw highest LPG sales as the Centre offered more free cylinders because of the lockdown. However, after the facility was withdrawn the sales halved in the first three months of this year,” said another official. 

He said a major chunk of the homemakers in rural Bengal who cooked using LPG, returned to wood.

“This seems to be a direct impact of the steep rise in LPG price recently.”