Millennium Post

Cash crunch continues; Parl House ATMs too run dry

Mirroring state of affairs across the country, ATMs in high security Parliament House complex as well as top government offices like North Block, that houses Ministries of Finance and Home, ran out of cash within hours, leaving the high-and-mighty high and dry.

Cash crunch in many parts was quite severe as banks were closed in North and Western India. The situation, as far as ATMs are concerned, is still grim even though a task force under the chairmanship of RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra was set up to expedite the normal working of cash vending machine. Branches in the Southern India witnessed a huge rush of people for replacement and withdrawal of currency as weekly limit for withdrawal has been raised to Rs 24,000.

The average waiting period in queue in the Southern and Eastern part of India was not less than 4 hours and people were seen queueing up with the day break at branches.

Many branches also reported cash shortages compelling people to return empty handed after waiting in the queue for long. Faced with cash crunch for meeting daily needs are making people frustrated and falling prey to black marketeers. Getting cash-strapped with each passing day, people did not seem impressed with the government’s last night decision to increase the weekly and daily withdrawal limit from banks and ATMs. 

With banks closed across Delhi, cash-strapped people started making beeline outside ATMs from early morning on Monday but with limited success as most of cash vending machines are running dry.

Millennium Post correspondent who went out to check whether ATMs are functioning on the fifth day since the demonetisation announcement, found only a few ATMs of the Kotak Mahindra (New Friends Colony), ICICI Bank (South Extension), State Bank of India (Lajpat Nagar), Punjab National Bank, and the HDFC Bank in some areas were dispensing cash while the rest displayed a no-cash board.

However, difficulties posed by hard-to-find cash failed to discourage people. Many sections of society including small traders, restaurant owners, transporters etc started feeling the heat as the dependence on cash is very high. 
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