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No respite from long queues, many ATMs still out of cash

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

There was no respite from long queues for getting cash from banks and ATMs even after a month since the demonetisation of high denomination currency notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Despite the promises made by RBI and the government banks failed to get adequate cash from currency chest to meet the withdrawal pressure on account of pay day.

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.

Most ATMs ran out of currency, increasing hardship for cash starved people.

Meanwhile, opposition parties today observed 'Black Day' against demonetisation decision of the government. Parliament was disrupted for the 16th consecutive day as the Opposition continued to engage in sloganeering, demanding a debate on demonetisation under a rule that entails voting.

According to bankers, there was rush due to second round of salary payment and the situation would continue for another 10-12 days.

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.

To promote less cash economy, the government today announced slew of measures incentivising payment through digital mode for purchase of petrol, diesel, insurance cover, railway tickets etc.

It also waived service tax for payments up to Rs 2,000 made through cards and decided to do away with transaction fee for payment to central government departments and PSUs.

It will also be worthwhile to keep a threshold beyond which cash payments should not be allowed, Nimish Goel, heads Indirect Tax at International Business Advisors said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, December 08 2016. 21:28 IST
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