Banks in the city have dispensed approximately Rs6,700 crore since November 11 when they had opened, two days after demonetisation was announced. A month after the November 8 surprise announcement, banks are still short of cash and have asked for Rs1,982 crore per day to meet the current requirement in Gurgaon, one of the largest real estate markets of the country.
Initially, a bank branch got over Rs5 crore per day on average for a fortnight, but the supply has been gradually reduced. It is now down to a few lakhs per day with which the banks are finding it tough to meet cash demand of their branches as well as ATMs.
“The demand for cash is much higher than its supply. Banks are rationing cash to serve the maximum number of customers,” said Ramesh Chandra Nayak, lead district manager, Gurgaon.
According to information from his office, most of the district’s 715 bank branches report “no cash” by afternoon and more than half of Gurgaon’s ATMs too run out of cash every day, leaving the common man fuming, but helpless.
To add to this, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with a direction that all banks in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Haryana should accept and remit currency at the RBI regional office in Chandigarh that caters to Haryana, among other states. Bankers had raised concerns over the long travel, consumption of time, and security risks this involves, but they are yet to get any official communication in response.
As the demand-supply gap of cash started widening, the state government started encouraging cashless transactions through online payments and mobile wallets. Camps and training sessions are now being held to train villagers and government employees in cashless transactions.
The district administration has also started getting banks to open accounts for workers in the unorganised sector, including construction, as they largely get salaries in cash. By December 8, banks had held 1,672 camps and opened 13,576 accounts for such workers.
The administration aims to ensure that most workers get bank accounts, said additional deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh.
“People need to learn to conduct cashless transactions to save themselves of hassles,” lead district manager Nayak said.