Regretting the ‘inconvenience’ caused to the people due to demonetisation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said around 2 lakh crore rupees has been deposited till 12.15 pm on Saturday in banks across the country, following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “The largest banker in the country State Bank of India (SBI) saw deposits of Rs 47,868 crore till Saturday afternoon,” Jaitley said while briefing the media in New Delhi.
He said, SBI’s deposit is around 20 per cent of the total deposits in all the banks in the country. Jaitley also said that despite allegations by opposition parties that there was spike in bank deposits leading up to the demonetisation announcement, no such spike has been seen in any month, except September 2016. “That month the increase was because of money released on account of the Seventh Pay Commission payments,” he added. Therefore, there is no substance in the allegations that information about demonetisation was leaked.
Jaitley said that spurt in bank deposits in the July-September quarter, which Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attributed to selective leak of the drive to BJP friends, was on account of payment of 7th Pay Commission arrears to government employees.
Jaitley also said that it will take two-three weeks to recalibrate the ATMs across the country for the new notes. “It will be a slow process,” he said. He rejected as “irresponsible” the criticism of political parties on the government’s demonetisation drive, saying some people are having problem with the cleaning up of the system.
“Different kinds of political reactions keep coming and some of them are even irresponsible. Some people have a problem with this attempt of cleaning up the political system,” he said.
Dismissing the suggestions that one week should have been given to people to adjust, he said this would have amounted to leaving everyone to go scot-free and “this gives the whole game away (of cleaning the system)”.
(With inputs from agencies)