PUNE: As many as 700 convicts in Yerawada central prison will now be able to make banking transactions thanks to an initiative by prison authorities and city-headquartered Bank of Maharashtra to include them in the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The inmates will now be able to receive allowances and others payments as well as withdraw money in addition to enjoying personal accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh. Yogesh Desai, superintendent of Yerawada Prison, told TOI that around 700 inmates in the prison have opened their bank accounts under this scheme. "At present, we are allowing only convicts in the prison to avail this facility. We are trying to open the bank accounts for all the convicts," he said. L M Deshmukh, general manager (priority) of the Bank of Maharashtra told TOI that the bank opened the accounts using the inmates' thumb impressions, for which the bank's business correspondent visited the prison. "The remaining necessary formalities are completed by the bank with the help of jail authorities," he said. Deshmukh said these inmates, who have opened their accounts between December 15 and January 26, are eligible for life insurance cover of Rs 30,000. "The bank has also issued RuPay debit cards to facilitate bank transactions," he said. A business correspondent will visit the prison once in a month to help inmates withdraw money. The bank will not charge for this facility. Prison authorities can deposit the allowances of the inmates directly into their bank accounts.
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