New Delhi, Dec 1: Banks and ATMs all over the country are again flooded with frustrated customers as they lined up to withdraw cash after receiving their salaries on Nov 30 and Dec 1. This is the first time people are withdrawing their salaries after the demonetisation drive introduced by the Government on November 8. But the condition around seems to imply that the banks were not at all prepared for such a situation, as many ATMs were not functioning, and the ones that did were crowded.
As customers lined up in front of ATMs on November 30 hoping to withdraw cash from their credited salary, many had to stand in long queues for hours before they could withdraw a meagre amount of Rs.2500 or Rs.2000. Similarly, people were seen in queues in banks, and out of them, waiting to withdraw a bit larger amount. But much to the disappointment of the people, many ATMs are still dry or not functional. Similarly, banks across the country reportedly could not provide people with as much cash as demanded due to short in supply of it.
This is the first time, after the demonetisation drive, that people had received their monthly salaries. While many firms pay their employees on the last day or within the first ten days of the month, those who received their salaries on Nov 30 or earlier were seen in the queue waiting to receive their cash.
“While my landlord said that I can pay the rent on a later date, I have other utilities to pay, the maid is unpaid, and not all people accept cards. In that sense, the money, if I can withdraw it tonight, will be spent by tomorrow, which means I will have to queue for hours again tomorrow.” said Ashish Thakur, a media person, who waited at an ATM in Noida for 2 hours before he could withdraw the capped amount of Rs. 2,500.
This is one of the example which shows the unstrategised method in which the demonetisation drive was introduced. While many banks claimed that they are prepared for such a situation, the ground reality seems to be quite different.
According to a report by PTI, the deputy managing director Manju Agarwal of State Bank of India was quoted saying, “At SBI we have enough currency supply. At some pockets there was shortage, but there also funds are being made available.” But strangely enough, many SBI ATMs around Delhi and Sector 16 were seen without cash. If that is the situation in the Capital, what can one expect in the rural remote regions.
While PM Modi in an online survey showed that more than 90% supported the demonetisation drive, but unfortunately in times like now, when the rural and urban citizens are facing the wrath of the ‘war on black money’, many in the queue were seen asking why no rich man is seen in the queue and wonder if the survey was genuine at all.
Such thoughts question how the demonetisation drive actually impacted those with black money. Apart from that, many business strategies have mushroomed in this hullabaloo. Walls in Noida were painted with an advertisement,’ Book my chotu.com’ which claimed it charged Rs.90 per hour. The advertisement reportedly is for hired labour who stands in queue in place of the real person while charging an amount for it. Similarly, reportedly people were exchanging old notes with new ones charging a “commission”.
In such a scene, the whole demonetisation drive is to effect, people on their first day after receiving salaries, while a few angry customers claimed that it was embarrassing to stand in long queue and ‘beg’ for their own money. Things are expected to get worse, if the demand supply ration f cash is not met within a day or two.