The message from the bank was no more a welcome relief but a sign of further hardship.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
The message from the bank was no more a welcome relief but a sign of further hardship.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Payday chaos: Long queues, low withdrawal limit anger people on salary day

Payday cash crisis: The situation has worsened as people have to pay their domestic helps, drivers and grocers, as many of them refuse to accept card payments.
By IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2016 07:17 PM IST

In the pre-demonetisation days, as the month draws to a close, employees avidly wait for that one message from their bank - ‘your salary has been successfully credited’.

But as salaries got credited for the first time after the demonetisation move, on Wednesday, chaos ensued outside banks as people queued up to withdraw their money.

The message from the bank was no more a welcome relief but a sign of further hardship.

The situation has worsened as people have to pay their domestic helps, drivers and grocers, as many of them refuse to accept card payments.

An IANS correspondent who hopped from one bank to another in New Delhi and Noida found massive crowd outside most of the banks. He also witnessed resentment about the banks setting their own arbitrary limits and rules for withdrawals.

“I have been standing in the queue for past two hours as I have to pay my maid and grocery bills in cash. I somehow managed to convince my landlord to accept the rent in cheque but I am bound to visit the bank for other payments,” said Vishakha Sharma, a resident of Janakpuri in southwest Delhi.

“It is so humiliating that we have to stand in long queues and beg for our own money. I am sure, tomorrow (December 1) will be even worse as maximum number of people will receive salaries in their accounts,” the 27-year-old said.

Highlights

November 30 was the first payday since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation move.

Serpentine queues witnessed outside banks as people came to withdraw money to pay domestic helps, drivers, grocers.

Low withdrawal limit , long queues, mandatory ID cards for deposits, out of cash banks angered people on their salary day.

An MNC employee complained about banks not conforming to the rules about the withdrawal limit.

“It’s the end of the month and I am supposed to pay bills. I came to withdraw Rs 24,000 but was allowed only Rs 10,000. How will I manage all the bills and expenses with just Rs 10,000 in hand?” Yogesh Yadav said.

Bankers felt that if they go by the RBI upper limit, they will be able to serve only some of their customers -- while the queues outside keep getting longer.

A resident of Mayur Vihar, Chirag, was not allowed to deposit as he didn’t carry his identity card to the bank.

He had a heated exchange with the bank manager as according to Chirag the RBI said no identity proof was needed for deposits less than Rs 50,000.

“I can’t deposit the cash as they are asking for a copy of the identity card, which I am not carrying. I also came to withdraw but they have run out of cash,” the 36-year old Chirag said. “This is obnoxious on part of the bank to be not entertaining its customers by going against the set norms.”

A resident of Krishna Nagar, Rahul Chauhan, got his salary on November 29, but was unable to withdraw. “I stood in the queue at 3 am in the morning (on Thursday). By the time, my chance to enter the bank came, the bank ran out of cash.”

“It is annoying that bankers were telling others to go back but entertaining the people that they know.”

Surinder Kaur, who is in her 50s, also alleged that bankers are helping their friends and relatives and also complained about the abuse of the token system in banks.

“I have been coming to the bank for past three days. Turn-wise tokens are distributed to lady customers. They are told to come around 1 p.m. When we reach, they send us back saying that there is no cash left,” she said.

“I am feeling frustrated with the mismanagement on part of the banks and also the government.”

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