With seemingly never-ending queues in front of banks and post offices, the government on Wednesday said it will take one more week to recalibrate half of the cash vending two lakh ATMs to dispense the new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. An official said the government has stepped up printing of new 500 rupee notes so that it can be made available to people. Currently, the ATM withdrawal limit from savings bank accounts stands at Rs 2,500 a day, but most ATMs are dispensing only Rs 2,000 notes or Rs 100. “It will take another one week for 50 per cent of the ATMs to be recalibrated so that they can dispense the new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes,” the official said.
The government is now focusing on making cash available on offsite ATMs as well, he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 said Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will cease to be legal tender and asked people holding such notes to deposit or exchange the same with banks. He had said new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes would be introduced with different color and design.
To dispense these new design notes, the ATMs need to be recalibrated. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that it will take up to three weeks for all two lakh ATMs in the country to be recalibrated.