By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, September 19: As rumours that the government is providing beneficiaries with instant access to Rs 1 lakh on opening of a bank account under the newly-launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Dan Yojana (PMJDY) scheme continue to circulate among the public, banks in Ukhrul town have remained chock-a-block with people from across the district and are having a tough time dealing with the crowd since the past few days.
This heavy rush is probably created by unfounded rumours/information regarding the scheme being circulated among the local populace here, said Achui, branch manager, UBI Mini Secretariat branch, Ukhrul, while adding that the bank has since August 18 last opened the facility to the public for opening their bank accounts under PMJDY scheme but only a few turned up.
However, since around September 10, the number of people visiting the bank to open their accounts have dramatically multiplied, she said adding that:“Since August 18 some 150 accounts have been opened at the branch but as the number of applicants suddenly shot up, more than 1000 applications are left pending since the past few days.
Clarifying that although the government has announced Rs 1 lakh insurance cover for each account holder in the event of any eventuality, the same is yet to be included in the current account opening process; the official further stated that what is then being done now is simply to provide bank account for each citizen and it is not known when will the government implement such benefits.
Maintaining that the unprecedented rush has hampered the duty of the staff, another official of the bank said that a separate section for opening accounts under the scheme has been arranged so as not to disrupt normal banking service. Accordingly, people who turned up for the purpose could be seen making a serpentine queue outside the bank.
Surprisingly, no such crowd could be witnessed at UBI, Viewland branch as its bussiness correspondents stationed at Phadang, Teinem, Hundung, Hunphun and Tolloi villages are taking care of the account opening process for the people of their respective areas.
Meanwhile, a large number of people could also be seen thronging the Ukhrul Election Office to obtain the Voters ID cards for the purpose of opening bank account. When asked about the procedure for obtaining the card, one official of the department said that those people who are already included in the published Electoral List and not owning ID card are charged Rs. 200 per head for a duplicate card.
“We are charging this amount from the public because we do incur expenses in the process as cards are made in Imphal only,” he said lamenting that we do not have this facility to create the card at our own headquarters. He also urged all the MLAs of the district to look into the acute shortfall in such facility for the denizens of the district.
Incidentally, the election department has allegedly ignored the replacement of Voter ID cards for those who had surrendered their cards for correction of particulars and duly applied for new cards on payment of Rs.25 per card some years back.