The Reserve Bank of India on Monday more than doubled the daily ATM withdrawal limit to INR 10,000 but retained the weekly ceiling at INR 24,000 which bankers feel will be gradually relaxed.
RBI also doubled the weekly withdrawal limit from current accounts to INR 1 lakh from INR 50,000 - a move which will ease cash position of traders.
However, the big question is where is the money. Most ATMs still have the no- cash boards placed at the entrance, while the rest are perpetually being serviced. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday described as an “eyewash”, the Centre’s announcement of increasing the cash withdrawal limit from ATMs and demanded that all restrictions be withdrawn immediately.
“Government eye wash announcement. Money not available in banks. All restrictions should be withdrawn immediately #DeMonetisation,” Banerjee said in a tweet. Banerjee, who has been opposing demonetisation and demanding its rollback since the beginning, had participated in a protest dharna in Delhi besides holding protest meetings in Lucknow and Patna.
“The term ATM is now redundant. They should be rechristened NTMs,” joked Tanya Singh, a Delhi-based media professional.
“I welcome the decision to raise the withdrawal limit, if the only the ATMs had cash,” rued Tirtho Bose, an IT professional.
“On a review of limits placed on withdrawals from ATMs and current accounts, it has been decided to enhance the same, with immediate effect...,” the central bank said in a notification.
RBI had earlier increased the daily withdrawal limit from ATMs to INR 4,500 from INR 2,500 effective January 1, just a day after 50-day demonetisation period ended.
“The limit on withdrawals from ATMs has been enhanced from the current limit of INR 4,500 to INR 10,000 per day per card,” RBI said, adding that it will be operative within the existing overall weekly limit.
The limit on withdrawal from current accounts has been enhanced from the current limit of INR 50,000 per week to Rs 1 lakh per week and it extends to overdraft and cash credit accounts also, RBI said.
RBI had placed limits on cash withdrawals following demonetisation of old INR 500 and INR 1,000 notes on November 9, 2016. The demonetisation ended on December 30. However, NRIs and Indians who were abroad during the demonetisation period have been given additional time to deposit their old currency notes.