November 14, 2016 4:32:43 pm
Amid increasing chaos at banks and ATMs, the government has put forward many measures to ensure smoother transition process after demonetisation came into effect. According to news agency ANI, Economic Affairs Secretary (EAS) Shaktikanta Das on Monday announced such steps, including “certain category of transactions” where old series of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes can be accepted. “The limit for such transactions is being extended from November 14 midnight to November 24 midnight,” Das said.
Das also said that the cash holding limit for banking correspondents has been hiked to ₹50,000 and they were now allowed to withdraw cash multiple times as opposed to only once a day earlier. The finance ministry has also raised the limit for daily withdrawals to Rs 2,500 and the recalibrated ATMs will be able to dispense new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes soon. Along with this, the weekly limits of withdrawal from bank accounts has been increased from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 24,000 and over the counter exchange limit has been increased to Rs 4,500 from Rs 4,000.
Das also added that a special task force, chaired by the RBI Deputy Governor, has been setup to expedite the process of recalibrating ATMs. “This task force has been instructed to work out a strategy to expedite whole process of recalibration of the ATMs,” he said.
Addressing the crisis in rural areas, the EAS stated that supply of cash to 1.3 lakh branch post offices will be improved. “The branch post offices will also be provided with adequate quantity of cash. Cash supply in adequate quantity will be made available in the branch post offices to disburse cash against account balances. There are about 1.3 lakh branch post offices in the country. So, 1.2 lakh banking correspondents and 1.3 lakh branch post offices put together, it works out to 2,50,000 points which will be made additionally available.” Along with this, he also announced that a large number of micro-ATMs will be deployed across the country.
Taking note of multiple reports wherein senior citizens of the country faced difficulties in getting their notes exchanged, Das announced there would now be separate queues for senior citizens and disabled people in banks. The finance ministry has also advised banks to arrange mobile banking vans at major hospitals to carry out emergency banking transactions for patients.
PM Narendra Modi had chaired a meeting of senior ministers, including Cabinet Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, past midnight on Monday to review the demonetisation process and its impact. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the finance ministry.
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