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Demonetisation:Queues get shorter at banks; no respite at ATMs

As banks opened after a day's break today, people rushed to exchange old defunct bills or withdraw cash. On the 12th day of demonetisation today, people still have to stand in queues for hours at ATMs as most of the cash vending machines are either dysfunctional or running out of cash due to huge rush.

There have been reports coming from different parts of the country about people being frustrated with shortage of cash at branches, leading to scuffle with bank staff and rioting at some branches.

Besides, those having wedding in their families are still not able to withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh from their accounts, even after the relaxation announced by the Centre five days ago.

Banks said they have not yet received operational guidelines from the RBI in this regard.

People are visiting their branches with gazette notification that talks of relaxation being provided to farmers and for marriage, but to no avail.

"Withdrawal for marriage purpose can be availed only after RBI's notification, which will have clear direction about the various formalities needed to be furnished by the customers for withdrawal," said a senior public sector bank official.

To screen repeat customers, banks at many places have started using ink mark on fingers of people who are exchanging old notes.

Besides, the government last week also reduced the exchange limit of old defunct notes to Rs 2,000 from the earlier Rs 4,500.

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