The Centre’s announcement on November 16 to use indelible ink in banks to mark people who exchange old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes has put the banks in dilemma. Banks have not received supply of ink despite requests by the lead district manager office in Gurgaon.
Some banks are managing with markers or locally available ink. Many banks, however, are skipping the practice as the length of queues have shortened after the reduction of exchange limit of old currency notes from ₹4,500 to ₹2,000.
Following the Centre’s directive, office of lead district manager wrote to Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for supply of ink but to no avail. Ramesh Chandra Nayak, lead district manager, said he wrote to IBA on November 16 and spoke to a representative the next day. He said the IBA expressed helplessness in supplying ink and asked the banks to arrange ink on their own.
“I wrote to the city magistrate for ink but I was told that the election commission has directed not to supply ink. Now, the Reserve Bank of India is expected to supply ink but I do not know by when,” Nayak said. He said some of the banks are using markers and local ink that could be wiped off with some effort. But, it acts as a deterrent for violators, he said.
There is a slight laxity towards the directive as long queues are missing outside banks after the reduction of currency exchange limit. Bank officials said labourers were being paid by employers and builders to get currency exchanged, leading to rush outside banks.
“Now, paying a labourer for exchanging ₹2,000 is not viable as queues have also shortened,” a banker said.