Long queues were witnessed across bank branches which struggled to meet the second round of pay day rush and resorted to rationing withdrawals as many ATMs ran dry even one month after demonetisation was announced. Faced with the acute shortage of cash banks have imposed their own limits for withdrawal as low as Rs 2,000 in some cases against the limit of Rs 24,000 per week set by the RBI. RBI, however, said that there is adequate supply of notes and asked people not to hoard valid currency notes.
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“Large quantity of notes in various denomination have already been supplied to public and continuously being supplied,” RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi said. According to bankers, there was rush due to second round of salary payment and the situation would continue for another 10-12 days.
With regard to ATMs, a private sector banker said, although about 95 per cent ATMs have been recaliberated, there is cash shortage due to logistic issue. ATMs are fed only once a day.
Salary and pension rush would be there for the next 5-7 days, SBI Managing Director Rajnish Kumar said, adding that rationing at branch level is being done to cater to cash needs of the larger number of customers.
Some banks are disbursing only Rs 2,000 per person while those having better cash availability are offering Rs 10,000-12,000 per withdrawal against specified limit of Rs 24,000, bank officials said.
Many banks have made ‘SOS calls’ to RBI for additional cash for the first week of December to meet the initial rush of people, already fatigued standing in queues to exchange/deposit old notes and make limited withdrawals over the past three weeks after the demonetisation was announced on November 8.
Meanwhile, bank unions are demanding that RBI should take steps to supply adequate cash to all banks and details of notes supplied to banks “should be announced publicly by RBI on a daily basis”.
RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi said printing presses of RBI and the government are working to full capacity and all efforts are being made to reach the notes in every part of the country. “In fact, during this period that is from November 10 to December 5, the RBI supplied to the public banknotes of various denominations near about Rs 4 lakh crore.