In a first, a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Bhopal on Sunday rolled out the first set of the newly issued Rs 500 notes. “With this the people will have some respite. The work will be faster now. Till now, we were only giving Rs 100 notes. It was also taking up a lot of time. The people were really excited to receive the new 500 rupee note. It is a historic moment for all of us,” an employee with the SBI told ANI.
The people have been facing inconvenience as they stand in long queues outside the banks and ATMs to exchange the old currency or withdraw cash after Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in a bid to curb black money.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said there is enough cash available in small denominations at banks, adding that the people must not be anxious and need not come over to banks repeatedly to draw and hoard cash.
“The Reserve Bank of India assures members of the public that enough cash in small denominations are also available at the Reserve Bank and banks. The Reserve Bank urges that public need not be anxious; need not come over to banks repeatedly to draw and hoard. Cash is available when they need it,” the RBI said in a statement.
The RBI’s announcement comes as anger intensified on Sunday with banks struggling to dispense money following the government’s decision to withdraw large denomination notes in an attempt to curb black money.
Earlier on November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a major step and announced demonetisation of Rs. 500 and 1,000 currency notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.
In his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said people holding notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.
With the people facing trouble after the Centre’s move, the government later decided to extend the existing exemptions on paying public utility bills till November 14. In a press release, the government reassured there is enough cash with the RBI and supply of cash to bank branches and ATMs are being stepped up gradually.