People continued to face hardships over withdrawing money from banks and ATMs on the sixth day on Tuesday since the central government demonetised high-value notes as banks struggled to cope with the crisis. Many bank branches, including those of country’s leading State Bank of India (SBI), displayed the ‘No Cash’ sign after the start of banking hours on Tuesday even as long queues were seen in front of their gates.
“Their is tremendous exchange pressure on the branches which may be reason why some of them may have run out of cash in the beginning,” AGM (PR) of SBI Bengal Circle Mohan Mitra told PTI.
Mitra said that out of 3,500 ATMs in the West Bengal circle, only 2,450 were operational. “Every one hour, one ATM is going off. It takes 2-3 hours for refilling an ATM,” he said.
Ditto is with other banks. “Yesterday was a holiday. So it was expected that there will be rush today,” said Sangram Das, Communications Manager with ICICI Bank. He conceded that the problem is with logistics though RBI has maintained the currency flow.
“We have around 300 ATMs in the city. The ATMs are becoming dry shortly after refilling and it generally takes three hours for again putting cash into them,” he said, adding that it may take a month’s time to return to normalcy.
“What is worrisome is that many repeat customers are there. Many people have huge cash with them. Since these persons are not being able to exchange the entire amount at one go, they are engaging others for exchange against a commission per transaction,” a manager with Bank of Maharashtra explained. “That is why the government has decided to use indelible ink so that a customer was not able to go for multiple withdrawals on a single day,” he said.