About Rs 2,481.40 crore was lying as unclaimed deposits in over 1.12 crore bank accounts till December, 2011 as per information provided by the Reserve Bank, Parliament was informed on Friday.
"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that as on December 31, 2011, a total amount of Rs 2,481.40 crore in 1,12,49,844 accounts is lying as unclaimed deposits with the commercial banks," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena told Lok Sabha in a written reply.
He said in the Banking Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012, a new section has been inserted in the Banking Regulation Act empowering the RBI to establish the 'Depositor Education and Awareness Fund' for the unclaimed deposits lying with any bank for more than 10 years.
"This fund will be utilised for promotion of depositors' interest and for such other purposes which may be necessary for the promotion of depositors' interest as may be specified by the RBI from time to time," the Minister said.
He further said the RBI shall specify an authority or committee to administer the fund.
Mr Meena said, to deal with inoperative and unclaimed deposits accounts, RBI has given detailed instructions to banks such as annual review of inoperative accounts, making these accounts operative after due diligence, non-levy of charges for activation of inoperative accounts, etc.
They have been advised to find the whereabouts of the customers and their legal heirs, he said.
Also, RBI has instructed banks to play a more proactive role in finding the whereabouts of the account holders of unclaimed deposits/inoperative accounts and also to display the list of unclaimed deposits of inoperative accounts which are not in operation for 10 years or more, on their websites.