In a move aimed at fast-tracking recalibration of ATMs, the government on Monday decided to set up a task force under the chairmanship of RBI deputy governor SS Mundra.
The task force would ensure that ATMs across the country are ready to dispense higher denomination notes in the shortest time to lessen the problems faced by people after the demonetisation decision. “The number of ATMs which will be recalibrated and which can dispense Rs 2,000 notes will be stepped up. To make this whole process faster, a task force was decided to be set up under the chairmanship of RBI’s deputy governor,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters on Monday.
The team has been mandated with working closely with banks and various agencies involved in disbursement of cash and recalibration of hardware and software of the ATM network, Das said. “The task force would ensure that ATM network is activated in the quickest time,” he said, adding that it will be an eight-member task force, which will have officials from Finance Ministry, Home Ministry and banks. The officials have been mandated to chalk out a strategy for expeditious reactivation of all ATMs.
“In the meantime, micro ATMs would be deployed to dispense cash against debit/credit cards up to the cash limits applicable for ATMs. The handheld micro ATMs have the facility of mobility and deployment at the required places,” he said.
Stressing on utilising the services of post offices, which has huge penetration in rural areas, Das said, “There are about 1.3 lakh branch post offices in the country. It has been decided to enhance the supply of cash to branch post offices to facilitate cash withdrawals from postal accounts.” It may be noted that with 1.2 lakh banking correspondents and 1.3 lakh branch post offices getting further activated, a total number of 2.5 lakh points in rural areas will be available to disburse cash and facilitate cash withdrawals from bank accounts, he said.
Charges on ATM transactions waived till Dec 30
In yet another move to lessen woes of people facing cash crunch, the RBI on Monday directed banks to waive ATM charges on all transactions done by savings bank customers till December 30. The waiver will be applicable on transactions done by a customer through his or her own bank ATM as well those of other banks.
“It has been decided that banks shall waive levy of ATM charges for all transactions (inclusive of both financial and non-financial transactions) by savings bank customers done at their own banks’ ATMs as well as at other banks’ ATMs, irrespective of the number of transactions during the month,” the central bank said in a late evening notification. The waiver is applicable on transactions done at ATMs from November 10 till December 30, 2016.