Following recent attacks on cash vans and automated teller machines (ATMs), the number of armed guards at these places are likely to in crease. Besides, no ATM will be refilled with cash after 8 pm.
The Indian Banks Association (IBA), which is looking into the matter, is likely to send its recommendations to the RBI within the next few days.
Government banks, which have been mandated to expand the scope of financial inclusion in India, are in the process of opening ATMs at all branches. Finance minister P Chidambaram has asked bank chairpersons to monitor the progress of the exercise. The ATM network in India is expected to grow from the current 1,20,000 to over 2,50,000 by 2015.
“The finance ministry is keen to aggressively expand the ATM network in the country, this would allow cash withdrawal at any hour and the facility would be extended to remote areas as well,” a senior finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified told HT.
“The industry welcomes the initiative of the IBA and believes it shall address several critical issues plaguing ATM replenishment activities. The RBI should notify standards for cash logistics operators as well as outsourcing guidelines for banks for such exercises at the earliest,” added Rituraj Sinha, co-chairperson, Ficci’s private security sector committee.
Banks have also been asked to open more branches in rural areas and focus on states where banking penetration is low to ensure smooth operation of the direct benefit transfer scheme.