Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday cited “sudden and unusual increase” of withdrawals in some areas as the reason for the “temporary shortage” of cash. He added that there was adequate currency in circulation and with the banks and that the situation would be tackled quickly. Jaitley’s comments come in the wake of people from at least six states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, complaining that the ATMs have run dry.
“Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly,” Jaitley tweeted.
Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) April 17, 2018
Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, meanwhile, said a committee has been set up to look into the issue. He added that it will be resolved within two to three days. “The Government has set up state-wise committee and RBI has also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other because for money transfer you need the permission of the RBI. It (the shortage) will be solved in 2-3 days,” Shukla was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, in response to the reports, took to Twitter Tuesday, saying, “ATMs were empty in November 2016. ATMs are empty now. And the only party flush with cash is the BJP: the people suffer.”
The Congress, from its official Twitter account, is running a poll asking people whether the situation is a “gross mismanagement by the government” or “a deliberate move.”
News reports say that ATMs around the country are running of out cash. Is it just gross mismanagement by the Modi Govt or is this a deliberate move? #IndiaSpeaks
— Congress (@INCIndia) April 17, 2018
According to an RBI report, the currency in circulation has reached pre-demonetisation levels of about Rs 17 lakh crore.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also responded, saying, “Seeing reports of ATMs running out of cash in several States. Big notes missing. Reminder of #DeMonetisation days. Is there a Financial Emergency going on in the country?”