It’s been six days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took centre stage with his big announcement. To curb the huge menace of black money, he and the ruling government decided to demonetise the existing 500 and 1,000-rupee notes, making them no longer legal tender. Following the decision, ATM kiosks and banks witnessed an unprecedented flood of citizens desperate to withdraw cash.
The public has largely lost patience with standing in long queues waiting to deposit, withdraw and exchange currency, but the worry just seems to grow with each passing day. Taking note of this havoc, State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said that the bank will soon start dispensing Rs 50 and Rs 20 currency notes to further help the public.
The SBI chief, in a recent announcement, said that ATMs are running out of cash faster than expected, citing the limited space for 100-rupee notes and the changed dimensions of the new notes.
But what takes the most time is manual recalibration. A person has to come and physically add the money when it runs out. We hope that we can sort out this problem by the end of November. And if the chaos subsides by then, we will also start dispensing 50 and 20-rupee notes in the coming days, she said.
In the last five days, the SBI has collected over Rs 83,702 crore in deposits. To ease the inconvenience caused by the recent change, the government has set up a task force under the leadership of Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India N.S. Vishwanathan. This team will expedite the process of re-calibrating the ATMs to make them fully functional, working with different banks in this direction.
Considering the panic that the country is going through, the government had recently increased the limit for withdrawals from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 post the recalibration of ATMs. It has also asked the public to stay calm, stating that there is enough cash available in the system.