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State Bank of India (SBI) today clarified on report of Bank yet to return 164 crore of undue fee charged from the account holders of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) towards digital payments during April 2017 and December 2019.

"On directions from the government, SBI has returned just about 90 crore, thereby withholding the bigger chunk of at least 164 crore with itself," said the report prepared by IIT-Mumbai.

“There has been a news article that SBI is not refunding charges recovered from the customers on digital transactions. We confirm that Bank is in full compliance with the Government and regulatory directives in this regard," SBI said in a statement.

“SBI has been at the forefront of the Financial Inclusion (FI) initiative of the Government of India with a FI customer base of 13.76 crore. The services to these customers are provided by a strong network of 70,193 Bank Mitras. In the Bank Mitra or Business Correspondent channel, banking and micro insurance services are provided to the customers in an assisted mode in rural and semi urban areas," it said.

“SBI has made all digital transactions free to the FI customers w.e.f. 01.01.2020. Further, up to four cash withdrawals in a month are free. Fully free digital transactions and four free cash withdrawals are enabling these customers to meet all their banking requirements."

The IIT-Mumbai report said that during April 2017 to September 2020, SBI had collected over 254 crore towards at least 14 crore UPI/ RuPay transactions by charging 17.70 per transactions on BSBDA (Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account) customers under PMJDY.

Since June 1, 2017, unlike any other bank in India, the report said, SBI charged 17.70 for every debit transaction beyond four a month.

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