As millions queued up outside banks and at ATMs, which opened after two days on Friday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said enough is cash available for exchanging the scrapped Rs 500/1000 notes and asked people to be “patient”. “There is enough cash available with banks and all arrangements have been made to reach the currency notes all over the country. Bank branches have already started exchanging notes since November 10, 2016,” RBI said in a statement. It said that consequent to the withdrawal of Legal Tender Character of existing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 Bank Notes, it has made arrangements to distribute the notes in new Rs 2000 and other denominations across the country.
The central bank conceded however that it may take a while for banks to recalibrate ATMs and once that is done, “members of public will be able to withdraw from ATMs up to a maximum of Rs 2,000 per card per day up to November 18, 2016”. After that, they will be able to withdraw up to Rs 4,000 a day per card.
Several ATMs have started functioning from Friday morning as the banks could complete recalibration of these machines to allow withdrawals up to Rs 2,000 to begin with. There were huge queues outside the banks for the second consecutive day on Friday after the government scrapped Rs 500/1000 notes to combat black money.
Amid the woes of the harried customers, a 73-year-old person, Vishwanath Vartak, reportedly died in a suburb of Mumbai while standing in one such queue. Meanwhile, SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said her bank has collected Rs 53,000 crore (from November 10 till around 2 pm on November 11) after the demonetisation of higher value currency. SBI has also exchanged about Rs 1,500 crore worth of currency.