The chaos caused by the demonetisation scheme is set to get worse with banks running short of currency, most petrol pumps failing to giving cash and several ATMs either not calibrated or running dry.
“Banks have started seeing more crowds as many departments credit accounts of pensioners in the last week of every month. Since old people are not familiar with net banking, they prefer coming to the branch to withdraw money,” said a senior bank official.
With salaries being credited to people’s accounts in the first week of November, queues at banks and ATMs are expected to get longer. Many branches of Corporation Bank, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda among others are already running out of cash despite paying less than the stipulated Rs 24,000 to customers.
State Bank of India, which has nine currency chests — maximum in the city — continued to cap withdrawals on Wednesday with the maximum limit varying from Rs 4,000 to Rs10,000 depending on the demand at the branch.
A SBI official at a branch in Old Delhi said that they got only about Rs 30 lakh from the currency chest over the past three days which fell to Rs 10 lakh on Wednesday. Earlier, they were getting around Rs 60 lakh. “If this is the condition at SBI, it is obvious that other banks are facing even bigger constraints,” he added.
A senior RBI official said that they have made adequate arrangements for cash but people should understand that they should not start hoarding money. “If every person will start withdrawing Rs 24,000 then naturally it will be very difficult to meet people’s requirement,” she said.
Several banks in Daryaganj stopped dispensing cash three hours after opening at 10am on Wednesday due to cash shortage. Private banks too are facing a cash crisis and several branches are operating for less than two hours. “A private bank in Daryaganj has not been able give cash for more than three hours since the past four days,” an official said.
The move to provide cash at petrol pumps too hasn’t been a hit. All India Petroleum Dealers Association, president, Ajay Bansal, said, “We had made arrangements for cash withdrawal up to Rs 2,000 at more than hundred petrol pumps in the city. But less than a dozen would be providing the facility at a time because it is very difficult to get cash from banks.”
Though government claims is has recalibrated around half the ATM machines in Delhi, not more than two ATMs could be seen giving cash on any stretch in Delhi.
A senior official of Punjab National Bank said, “PNB has arranged payment through micro ATMs at New Delhi Railway Station Metro-Gate number 5.”A bank official said that to fulfil the increasing demands soiled notes too are given to banks.