Cooperative banks in the Gujarat have reported nearly 100 times of their usual deposits of now-banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, even as these banks were unable to give out as much cash in exchange.
State minister and chairman of Banaskantha District Co-operative Bank Ltd Shankarbhai Chaudhary averred that his bank had a record collection of deposits since November 10, when the banks reopened after a day’s break following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8 midnight. “A record of approximately Rs 1,500 crore was deposited in the banks of Banaskantha district till Sunday evening, while in Banaskantha District Co-operative Bank alone more than Rs 200 crore has been deposited,” he said.
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He said despite long queues, the crowd did not panic. “We have extended banking hours and provided facilities like water and tea to the visitors,” Chaudhary said, adding, “despite the hardship, people were happy because it (the demonetisation move) was a nightmare for those have large sums of unaccounted cash.”
A senior bank official from Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank (KCCB), which has 52 branches and 54 ATMs in the state, shared that in the first three days since the banks reopened, his bank received an average of Rs 100 crore worth of SBNs (specified bank notes) daily.
He, however, said: “The bank is receiving only Rs 3-Rs 5 crore a day (in usable cash) to operate and hand out cash to public. By 2 pm, we are out of currency and have apologise to customers. A large section of our customers need small change, hence we cannot hand out Rs 2000 notes.”
Another issue troubling cooperative banks was clearance of the banned notes exchanged by the customers. According to a KCCB official, the banned bills were still with the bank as “as the ‘currency chests’ of various mandated banks where these notes are supposed to go,” have been reported full. “We have apprised the regional RBI officers by mail on this issue.”