In a revelation during the ongoing Winter Session, the Indian Parliament disclosed a concerning trend in unclaimed deposits within the country’s banking sector. The unclaimed deposits have witnessed a substantial 28% annual rise, reaching a staggering ₹42,270 crore by the end of the last financial year in March 2023. This marks a significant jump from the previous year’s figure of ₹32,934 crore.
Breakdown of Unclaimed Deposits
Public sector banks accounted for the majority of unclaimed deposits, with a substantial ₹36,185 crore, while private sector banks held ₹6,087 crore in unclaimed deposits as of March 2023.
Definition by RBI
Unclaimed deposits, as defined by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), refer to balances left in savings or current accounts that have remained inactive for 10 or more years. Following this period, such deposits are to be transferred to the RBI’s Depositor Education and Awareness (DEA) Fund.
RBI’s Initiatives and Measures
The RBI has actively addressed the issue by directing banks to display lists of unclaimed deposits on their websites, particularly in accounts inactive for a decade or more. The aim is to locate the account holders or their legal heirs, facilitating the rightful return of unclaimed deposits.
In addition, the RBI has introduced the Unclaimed Deposits Gateway to Access Information (UDGAM), a centralized web platform. UDGAM enables the search for unclaimed deposits across various banks, streamlining the process of tracing original account holders.
RBI’s ‘100 Days 100 Pays’ Campaign
In a proactive move to reduce unclaimed deposits, the RBI launched the ‘100 Days 100 Pays’ campaign. Thirty-one major banks, constituting over 90% of unclaimed deposit balances with the DEA Fund, participated in the campaign. As a result, a substantial amount of ₹1,432.68 crore has already been refunded to rightful claimants, showcasing the effectiveness of this initiative.
Questions Related to Exams
Q: What is the total amount of unclaimed deposits in Indian banks as of March 2023?
A: ₹42,270 crore, showing a 28% increase from the previous year.
Q: How is the distribution between public and private sector banks?
A: Public sector banks hold ₹36,185 crore, while private sector banks hold ₹6,087 crore in unclaimed deposits.
Q: What defines unclaimed deposits according to the RBI?
A: Balances in inactive savings or current accounts for 10 or more years.
Q: How is the RBI addressing unclaimed deposits?
A: Initiatives include online display of lists, the Unclaimed Deposits Gateway (UDGAM), and the ‘100 Days 100 Pays’ campaign, which has refunded ₹1,432.68 crore.