Millennium Post

Cash crunch continues in Kolkata

Even after three weeks of demonetisation, serpentine queues were seen outside banks during the day as branches would be shut on Sunday.

Residents preferred bank counters for withdrawing money, instead of going to ATMs, as the weekly withdrawal limit by using cheque or withdrawal slip was much higher than a daily withdrawal limit from ATMs.

According to the RBI's order, one can withdraw cash against withdrawal slip or cheque subject to a weekly limit of Rs 24,000, including withdrawals from ATMs and over the counter from the bank accounts. 

Daily withdrawal limit from an ATM is Rs 2,500.

"At the beginning of the month, we need good amount of cash to meet monthly expenses. Through ATMS one can withdraw Rs 2,500 while over the counter one can at least get more amounts. 

"It is worth standing before banks' counter as most of ATMs are dispensing Rs 2,000 notes," said Meheli Mazumder, an IT professional, standing in a queue at a branch of State Bank of India in South Kolkata.

Despite the stipulated withdrawal limit laid by RBI, bank branches have been putting their own limitation on withdrawal of money depending on their cash availability. 

The situation will not improve unless cash is supplied adequately.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Friday accused Reserve Bank of India of not re-calibrating enough ATM outlets in the state to dispense the new Rs 500 notes.

Two elderly persons in the state died while standing in a bank queue on Friday.

Agreeing to points raised by Banerjee, Bank Employees' Federation India General Secretary Pradip Biswas said, "Supply crunch is continuing and there is dearth of Rs 500 notes."

According to officials from RBI's regional office in the city, currency supply situation, however, has been improving.

"All four currency printing units at Nashik, Dewas, Mysuru and Salboni are running to full capacity. Arrangements have been made to print high value currency notes in Salboni press (in West Bengal) and output from there is expected by mid December," RBI official added.

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