November 24, 2016 12:00:14 am
Two weeks after the withdrawal of the high-denomination bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, banks in the city have reported thinner crowds and more functional ATMs. However, bankers said, the cash situation continues to be tight at banks amid the increasing clamour for withdrawals.
Meanwhile, precarious cash situation continues at cooperative banks. Cooperative banks had also complained of step-motherly treatment by both the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the commercial banks in terms of disbursement of cash. The banks had even threatened to down their shutters if their demand for cash is not fulfilled.
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Bhagini Nivedita Cooperative Bank’s CEO Smita Deshpande said the situation at 18 branches of their bank has improved slightly. “RBI has allocated some cash to us and so we have been able to meet some of the demands of our customers,” she said.
Deshpande said cash availability has allowed them to increase their disbursement amount but their ATMs remain non-operational. The bank had faced a major problem when RBI refused to remit the specified bank notes (old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes) they had collected. “We are running out of space to keep discontinued cash,” she said.
Similarly, Mukund Ahbyankar, group chairman of the Cosmos Cooperative Bank, also said that they have run out of space to keep the banned notes. “RBI has promised to start the process soon and we are waiting for their instructions. All our storage space is full,” he said, adding that the RBI has given them cash after a wait of two days.
Nationalised banks too, are facing a tough situation.
IDBI Bank’s chief general manager and zonal head Brij Mohan Sharma said he hopes the situation will improved when RBI releases more cash early next week. “The rush for deposit and exchange of notes has thinned out but the withdrawal crowd has increased,” he said.
Sharma said they had recalibrated their ATMs but ran out of cash within a short span of time.
Since the announcement of demonetisation of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes, serpentine queues had been witnessed outside banks and ATMs, leading to several tragedies.
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