Demonetisation has worsened troubled times for farmers in Sheopur district as people in Badoda tehsil sleep outside the State Bank of India (SBI) branch, the lone bank branch there, for cash.
Farmers from over 50 villages in Badoda brace the cold and queue up from midnight but are allowed to withdraw only Rs 4000 a week instead of the Rs 24,000 weekly limit due to severe cash crunch. There was a serpentine queue of 600 people before the SBI branch opened on Tuesday morning.
Shankar Banjara of Salmanya village said, “I need Rs 10,000 for treatment of my ears and eyes. I waited in a queue for two days but the cash finished before my turn came.” Farmer Halku Banjara of the same village said he needs money for his son’s wedding next month.
SBI branch incharge manager Sarwan Meena said, “We’re not getting sufficient cash supply. We’re getting only Rs 10 lakh daily against demand of Rs 1 crore.”
Meanwhile, exchange of demonetised banknotes continued in Sheopur as countless people lined up at SBI, Bank of India, Central Bank and Punjab National Bank branches on Wednesday.
Bank unions to stage protest in Bhopal
Even as Modi’s 50-day promise approaches deadline, cash crunch does not seem to end any time soon. In protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for demonetization, bankers, under the banner of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), have decided to stage a protest in Bhopal on Thursday seeking an immediate solution to the woes of people.
AIBEA leader VK Sharma said, “The decision was taken with the aim to cut down on black money, fake notes and terrorist activities. Currency worth ₹14 lakh-crores worth were banned and withdrawn from circulation with the hope that a bulk of it which is black money will be confiscated. But we observe that the entire money has come back to the banks belying all their expectations,” Sharma said.
“The fact that this announcement was made without proper planning to supply replace banned notes with new ones is evident from the problem people, including bankers, are facing every day,” he added.
Sharma said, “There is a reduced cash flow to bank branches. Majority of the ATMs are still non-functional or empty. There is unusual rush of customers inside the bank but inadequate supply of cash is forcing the branches to deny withdrawal of the permitted Rs. 24,000 to customers. We will demand sufficient supply of cash to all banks, ATMs and branches, and maintenance of law and order to prevent harassment of bank staff.”