Currency chaos: Tough day for banks in Patiala | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Currency chaos: Tough day for banks in Patiala

Banks in Patiala had a tough day to handle the ‘panicky’ crowd as unprecedented footfall was witnessed on Thursday, for exchanging and depositing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes after these were scrapped.

punjab Updated: Nov 11, 2016 12:43 IST
HT Correspondent
Customers at the Mall Road branch of State Bank of Patiala on Thursday.
Customers at the Mall Road branch of State Bank of Patiala on Thursday.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Banks in Patiala had a tough day to handle the ‘panicky’ crowd as unprecedented footfall was witnessed on Thursday, for exchanging and depositing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes after these were scrapped.

Queues came up even before the banks began operation. The situation was somewhat controllable in big branches with additional counters containing the pressure. But the rush was unmanageable in small branches with operation had to be suspended briefly at several places after the number of people swelled.

For instance, State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) branch in urban estate had to close the gates as the rush inside the branch became unmanageable. Similar situations were witnessed elsewhere too.

A number of bank’s branches stopped the exchanges as their stock of new currency exhausted in few hours. Even Rs 100 notes were not available in many branches.

“It took me three hours to exchange the old currency,” said, a harassed resident, Davinder Singh, in front of a private bank in Chotti Baradari.

“Although banks had opened additional counters for increased footfall, there was a lot of teething problem. The situation was worse for senior citizens as they were exhausted due to long wait,” said a banker.

Varinder Karwal, head of SBoP branch at Mall road, said the footfall was at least 40 times more than the usual operation and the situation would remain somewhat similar on Friday as well.

Confusion over withdrawal limit

The norms state that customers will have a Rs 20,000 weekly limits for cash withdrawals from their bank accounts. However, banks aren’t clear whether the week in the weekly limit ends this Sunday and Monday will be a fresh week.

On this, a branch head of HDFC bank said they would consider one week limit from Thursday onwards only until the time there are no directions from the RBI on this.

ATMs to start by Friday afternoon

The automated teller machines (ATM) will start operating from Friday afternoon with withdrawal limit at Rs 2,000 per day. The cap will increase to Rs 4,000 a day from November 18.

No Rs 2000 notes in Fatehgarh Sahib

Most of the banks in Sirhind and Fatehgarh Sahib area have not received new currency notes of Rs 2,000 that have already been introduced by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and they transacted only in Rs 100 denomination notes.

In that regard, situation was relatively better, even though long queues were witnessed outside the banks. Bank managers said they had sufficient Rs 100 notes and the process of exchanging and depositing went without any hitch.

“Though people have to wait because of long queues but we have enough cash and we are making sure that no one faces problem in getting the currency deposited or exchanged,” said, SS Kanwar, manager, SBoP.

While manager of another bank said they had enough Rs 100 notes for Thursday, they had sent their officers to Patiala for bringing more cash for Friday.