This refers to “Half of India’s ATMs face shutdown by March” (November 22). The news is rather disturbing as it comes at a time when withdrawing our savings from banks have already become difficult. My observation is that customers are no longer welcome inside the branches for withdrawal or any kind of transaction in person, thanks to the digitisation push over the last few years, which the present government took to the next level by the sudden announcement of demonetisation in the name of taking out black money from under the beds of the rich and powerful. However, the ATM facility has not reached every part of the country.
I remember even 32 years ago, people were withdrawing money from ATMS in the UK. I also remember seeing people withdraw cash from ATMs attached to banks and how the first ATM was set up in India in 1987 in Mumbai by HSBC. Over the next 12 years, 1,500 more were set up. However, since then the number of ATM kiosks in India has gone up at a snail’s pace and now comes the news of half of them shutting down. At the time of enforcing the note ban, the present government wanted everyone to go digital and under the new Prime Minister, another big programme, Digital India, was announced. One hopes that all the concerned parties sit together to resolve the issue before inflicting another nightmare on the citizens who may then be forced to withdraw their money from the banks and keep them under their beds.
N Nagarajan, Secunderabad
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