Banks in Gurgaon have dispensed more than Rs6,000 crore in the last 12 bank working days since November 10. Still, banks are short of cash and have asked the central bank for Rs2,000 crore per day to meet the current demand for cash in one of the largest real estate markets of the country.
Most transactions in the real estate sector are cash-based and the sector is feeling the pinch of cash shortage.
“With no cash, enquiries and bookings for new houses and resale of property have come to a standstill. People are waiting to see the government’s next move,” Parveen Yadav, a property dealer in Sector 56, said.
The Centre enforced the demonetisation of Rs1,000 and Rs500 currency notes on November 9 in an effort to arrest the unaccounted money and counterfeit currency circulating in the country.
There are 715 bank branches in Gurgaon and all of them run out of cash by afternoon in the days after demonetisation. The 1,300 ATMs also exhaust cash as soon as currency is loaded.
Queues outside banks have shortened but people are still hassled because of the cash shortage. Majority of the banks display a ‘no cash’ notice at the gates after 11 am. “In the morning, bank officials told my husband to come around 2 pm as there was no cash. Now, I have come and they are still saying cash has not come from the RBI,” Savita Sharma, an elderly woman, said while she was outside a nationalised bank in Sector 31 market.
Six banks with 239 branches and currency chests in Gurgaon have dispensed Rs782 crore till Tuesday evening. Rest of the 476 bank branches have also dispensed more than Rs5,200 crore.
The banks have received more than Rs90 crore from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and arranged rest of the amount from other currency chests. Some of the leading banks drew money from their currency chests at other locations while small banks are depending on currency chests of large banks.
“There is still a shortage of cash as the banks need at least Rs2,000 crore per day to meet the current demand for cash,” Ramesh Chandra Nayak, lead district manager, Gurgaon, said.
About 35% ATMs in Gurgaon were recalibrated to dispense new currency notes but the paucity of cash is leaving consumers in the lurch. The lead district manager said daily, 40 to 50 machines were being recalibrated daily and most machines would be redone in a week. Of a total 1,300 ATMs, 140 machines of nationalised banks and 290 machines of private banks were recalibrated by Tuesday evening.