Millennium Post

Forget Rs 24,000; cashless banks set low withdrawal limit for customers

Banks and ATMs have been regularly witnessing serpentine queues even after a month of the demonetisation announcement of high-denomination notes — Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.

Many bank customers say they are not allowed to take out Rs 24,000 a week — as authorised by the Reserve Bank of India — but are being given only Rs 4,000-6,000 by bank officials who cite cash crunch as the main reason.

The bank had also put out a notice saying a customer can withdraw a maximum of Rs 10,000 due to the cash shortage, whereas, the government has allowed a maximum of Rs 24,000 withdrawal a week.

A bank official says on condition of anonymity: “The RBI has failed to provide cash to the banks. Otherwise, why would banks make people suffer? We have limited cash. If we give Rs 24,000 to every person, we will run dry soon and then people will get agitated and we will have to face the brunt.”

There were no queues outside many ATMs in Delhi and adjoining satellite towns as the cash disbursing machines were running dry or not functional on Friday. But people, scrambling for money, stood in long lines outside banks and ATMs where cash was available.

In most areas in the national Capital, banks ran out of cash within hours of opening.

“I have to make payments to many people. I will have to wait in the queue to withdraw more cash daily so that I can clear my dues,” said a customer.

A Central Bank of India official in ITO branch said the bank didn’t have enough cash to disburse to a huge crowd of people that was waiting outside since morning. A man in a queue outside Bank of Baroda ATM in Jangpura adds: “I had only one rupee left in my pocket and I am waiting in a queue not knowing if I will get money or not.” 

Long serpentine queues were also seen outside J&K Bank ATMs in Jangpura and Greater Kailash.

A resident said he had counted and “only two out of 30 ATMs around Jangpura, Bhogal, Maharani Bagh, Ashram were working”. There were long queues with people desperately wanting to deposit and withdraw cash at Bank Of India in Lal Kuan in Old Delhi on Friday. In a sign of desperation, a long line was visible outside East of Kailash branch of ICICI Bank even though it had put up a sign saying no cash was available.
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