The currency stock at banks across the city has improved but most ATMs still display the message ‘temporarily unable to dispense cash’. A large number of people who thronged ATMs to take advantage of the increased withdrawal limit were left disappointed on Tuesday as majority of the machines were empty.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday increased the per day ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 from Rs 4,500. However, the weekly withdrawal limit remains Rs 24,000.
People who rushed to ATMs in sectors 22, 23, 14, 31 and 40 said there was cash only at a few locations . “I visited a number of machines but the availability of cash in sector 22 has been very less. There were two ATMs that had cash but these were also exhausted by the time we reached,” Darpan Yadav, a sales executive, said.
At locations where the authorities had filled ATMs, the increased withdrawal limit ensured that all cash was withdrawn in two to three hours. Bankers, however, hope that those who withdrew Rs 10,000 in one go would not return for more cash soon.
While the people welcomed the decision to increase the cash limit, they also want the RBI to ensure that cash is available in the machines. Around 2 pm on Tuesday, cash was available only at Yes Bank and OBC ATMs in Sector 14. In Sector 31, cash was available only in the machines of ICICI Bank and in Sector 40, all ATMs were devoid of cash.
“I queued up for more than an hour but with majority of people withdrawing the maximum amount (Rs 10,000), there was no money left when my turn came. The banks need to improve the cash supply, otherwise making this announcement is of no use,” Ramesh Khare, who failed to get cash from ATMs in Sector 14 said.
Bankers, however, said the situation has improved in the last two weeks. “All bank branches are getting sufficient cash now and today (Tuesday), we got Rs 15 lakh from the chest. A large amount was also dispensed through the ATM,” Satish Parnami, branch manger, OBC Sector 14, said.
At the Sarva Haryana Gramin Bank, the situation has bettered at the branch level. Though cash distribution has improved in rural areas in the last two weeks, the tendency of villagers to hoard cash is putting pressure on the bank, an official said. “The RBI is now supplying enough cash and cash dispensation through ATMs will also improve across Gurgaon in next one week,” RP Sharma, regional manager of the bank, said.
Some customers demanded that the government should also lift the weekly cash withdrawal limit.