Families with weddings left in lurch as banks refuse Rs 2.5 lakh withdrawal

November to January is the peak wedding season in the country and several thousands of families have been hit with this cash crunch at this important juncture.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Published:November 20, 2016 1:44 pm
demonetisation, cash crunch, demonetisation cash crunch, demonetisation effect weddings, demonetisation affect marriages Only 3000 petrol pumps in the country are equipped with SBI swipe machines

The demonetisation of currency has failed on major counts in terms of effective implementation and troubles for the public continue. Two steps announced by the government to ease the cash crunch problem, specifically for people with weddings in their family, have failed due to poor planning and rollout issues. Poor planning and mismanagement have become synonymous with the implementation of demonetisation scheme and banks refuse to disburse one-time cash amount of Rs2.5 lakh to people with wedding needs in the ‘absence of RBI’s operational guidelines’.

One would think that with the amount of intellectual wealth and infrastructural strength at their disposal, the RBI and Finance Ministry would’ve planned it well keeping several contingency plans ready. Though for now it seems, the government is making plans as things move forward with a lackadaisical attitude.

The government had announced the one time withdrawal for wedding related purposes on Thursday along with a scheme to allow select petrol pumps to disburse Rs 2,000 cash a day to people after they swipe their debit cards at those stations.

For wedding withdrawals, some banks say it will take at least a week for the Rs 2.5 lakh withdrawal scheme to come into effect. The step which was supposed to ease the troubles of people will be late on account of delay in RBI’s issuing of operational guidelines for the same.

The Economic Times quoted Punjab National Bank managing director Usha Ananthasubramanian as saying, “In absence of operational guidelines from RBI, we are unable to allow withdrawal of Rs 2.5 lakh for marriage purposes.” Several reports also show that SBI branches at several locations had started the process but had to stop abruptly due to logistical issues and shortage of currency in banks.

November to January is the peak wedding season in the country and several thousands of families have been hit with this cash crunch at this important juncture.

As for the move to allow pumps to dispense cash, the problem is that only 3,000 pumps across the country have card swipe machines from SBI that also allow for cash withdrawals. The scheme was extended for 17,500 banks and the rest have swipe machines from other private banks which will take time for configuration. The upgrade process also depends on how fast these private banks act as the government can’t upgrade the softwares on a private bank’s’ machines.

Only 3000 petrol pumps in the country are equipped with SBI swipe machines which are configured to allow such transactions and out of those, only about 700 have started the service. There are a total of 56,190 petrol pumps across the country.

The move to add petrol pumps into the fold for disbursing cash will help in easing troubles a little but won’t make any significant difference for at least the coming few weeks.

Meanwhile, the government has started rolling out Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes in the recalibrated ATMs. But, the recalibration of the 2 lakh ATMs and increasing the inflow of cash needs to be more quick.

The queues outside ATMs may have eased a little, but in many areas that is also leading to a feeling of dejection or people’s inability to leave daily tasks to stand in line. The whole country has queued up for money in the past couple of weeks. Although nobody is dealing with it easily, families with weddings are left in a precarious situation.

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  1. M
    Nov 20, 2016 at 10:07 am
    2.5 Lakhs for marriages, was another "Jhumla". RBI says, enough cash is available. Don't panic. Then why withdrawals are restricted. We are asking our own money and not begging. Bhakts may not believe in marriages, but opting for live in relationships, which cost a very little.
    1. M
      Nov 20, 2016 at 10:32 am
      feku PM Jee will conduct all marriages like He comes to rescue of prospective bride in Varanasi until money problem solved around Hindustan at the rate of at least Rs 1.5 lakhs per a wedding.
      1. M
        Mayur Panghaal
        Nov 20, 2016 at 8:57 am
        Where is charlie xhaplin shashikanta das ? These comic statements sound better from his mouth.
        1. R
          Nov 20, 2016 at 9:55 am
          Very sorry to know that banks are not allowing withdrawal of 2.5 laks for marriages ,even after announcement made.The banks are not employing extra staff for some period after being told by FM.
        2. P
          Prabirkumar Duttachoudhury
          Nov 20, 2016 at 11:58 am
          Write to PM as one Varanasi family wrote and got Rs. 20000. Why you need 2.5 lac for marriage. Only BJPbalo has right spent Rs 500 car. for marriage of their daughter. What insult?
          1. P
            Prabirkumar Duttachoudhury
            Nov 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm
            Write to PM for marriage of your daughter as one Varanasi family wrote and got Rs 20000. Why do you need Rs 2.5 lac or more? Only BJPbalo has right to spend Rs 500 cr for marriage of his daughter and get prior information to get all his 500 and 1000 re notes before its cancellation is announced. If you are crorepati and BJP leaders trusted friend you will get all help, your black money will be converted safely and timely, your thousand cr bank loan will be written off, your name will not be published, Bank will find no purchaser to sell your property and your agent will purchase your property at less price, you will get help from top level to fly abroad to avoid legal action, will get lower rate of interest for opening malls investing capital being the NPA bank loan you did not repay at the cost of poor fixed depositors. All you have to do is to give a small share of the common peoples' bank deposits you pered. Otherwise if you are an innocent common man you will have to face trouble and even die in the line for getting your hard earned money exchanged or to withdraw from bank. No financial help, no tear from ministers or leaders. You will be treated as if you were a criminal or terrorist, anti national. What a cl culture!
            1. S
              Nov 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm
              Rules are only for public and not government. People must abide by the rules or they will be jailed. RBI governor, PM and bank chiefs can say 2.5 lakh withdrawal is allowed but if banks refuse to give this money then these rulers in government cannot be jailed. No one can be punished if Hospital authorities, petrol pumps and medical stores refuse to accept demonetized notes, which they are required to accept. However, if someone deposits more than 2.5 lakh, then that person must go to jail for not filing tax return.
              1. V
                Nov 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm
                Their is no shortage of cash is beamed on each every forums repetadly but in reality no cash from ATM. Banks are giving 2000 rs notes which are useless for small people because no one has any change people have to stand in long ques for hours even after reaching the counter they are facing scuritny and supecison of all sorts for their own money withdrawal or exchange
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