New Delhi, Apr 17: The government got into action mode after reports of cash crunch and ATMs running dry in different parts of the country made headlines on Tuesday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the crunch ‘temporary shortage’ and said that the situation is being tackled quickly. “Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly,” Jaitley tweeted.
The Department of Economic Affairs, meanwhile, said that they have increased the printing of Rs 500 notes. “We print about 500 crore of Rs 500 notes per day. We have taken steps to raise this production 5 times. In next couple of days, we’ll have supply of about 2500 crore of Rs 500 notes per day. In a month, supply would be about 70000-75000 crore,” said SC Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. “Government is taking all steps to ensure that ATMs are supplied with cash and to get non-functional ATMs normalised at the earliest,” the Department added.
State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar attributed the cash crunch to “geographical issues.”One reason is that procurement season has come and the payment to farmers have gone up. In Maharashtra and Mumbai there is no cash crunch as far as SBI is concerned. In the next week, things will start coming back to normalcy. There is a department which monitors situations like this. This is not new. RBI has been given an indent to increase the flow of Rs 500 notes in the system,” he said.
Earlier Minister of State, Finance, SP Shukla said that there was enough cash currency in circulation and the situation will be brought under control in three days. “We’ve cash currency of Rs 1,25,000 crore right now. There is one problem that some states have less currency and others have more. The government has formed a state-wise committee and RBI also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other. It’ll be done in 3 days,” SP Shukla said.
People of various cities including Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal and Hyderabad reported of ATMs are running dry, creating a situation of a severe cash crunch. There have been complaints that either the ATMs don’t have cash or they are not working.
In Delhi, people have said only Rs 500 notes are coming out of the kiosks. “We are facing the cash crunch. Most of the ATMs are not dispensing cash, the ones which are dispensing, have only Rs 500 notes. We are facing difficulty, don’t know what to do,” they said.
“We do not know what or where the problem is but the common man is facing difficulty as the ATM Kiosks are not dispensing cash. We have visited 5-6 ATMs since morning. We need to pay for the admission of children and purchase groceries and vegetables,” said a person in Varanasi.