Economy

ATMs run dry as RBI runs short of currency paper

ATMs run dry as RBI runs short of currency paper”

As opposed to an average demand of about Rs 20,000 crore a month, "in the first 13 days of April itself there was a demand of Rs 45,000 crore", he said.

The note estimates that Rs 15,291 billion were withdrawn from ATMs through debit cards in the second half of FY18, which is a good 12.2 per cent growth over the previous six months.

According to the RBI data released in March this year, currency with the public stood at Rs 17.06 lakh crore as on 18 February as against Rs 17.01 lakh crore seen on October 28, 2016. Big notes missing. Reminder of Demonetisation days.

He also needled the government on the recent bank scams saying people appeared to have lost confidence in banks. "This will avoid wrath of the customers and general public", the letter said besides demanding to streamline supplies of currency notes of the denomination of Rs 500, 100, 50 & 10.

Meanwhile, SBI Research pegged the cash shortfall in the system at Rs 70,000 crore, which is a third of the monthly withdrawals at ATMs.

The higher level of economic activity in the fourth quarter may have also resulted in more withdrawls at ATMs, the report said in the note.

Finance Ministry has said that there was "unusually high demand" for currency in the last couple of months and this unusual spurt has been witnessed more in some parts of the country like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. There have been reports of non-availability of cash in Delhi too.

The Reserve Bank had said last evening that there was no shortage of currency, even as it had ramped up printing of notes at all its four presses. "RBI is closely monitoring both these aspects", it said. There are no shortage of currencies in the ATMs. This Rs seven lakh crore number is huge and the supply of Rs 2,000 notes beyond this is not required.

While large business transactions were not affected by the sudden cash crunch nationwide since most businesses are done online these days, it were the ordinary people and small businesses in need of small cash for daily needs that were caught in the line of fire of this monetary fiasco. These are the pockets where the crisis started as Rs 2,000 notes were fewer and Rs 200 notes couldn't be dispensed.

"We have noted that this is coming more from some parts of the country. Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are seeing heightened demand due to procurement season", Kumar added. Government or RBI can not arbitrarily control the supply of cash.

Asked whether there was any hoarding of the Rs 2,000 notes, he said: "In this system, there are about 6.70 lakh crore worth of Rs 2,000 notes".

The government and the Reserve Bank of India have assured that the cash scarcity is temporary.

While part of this currency demand-supply mismatch is being met by digital payments, it just isn't enough.

With banks giving their service providers nearly 40-50 percent less cash for ATMs, currency is rationed to ATMs depending on the locality and the demand for money, said V Balasubramanian, the spokesperson of the Confederation of ATM Industry.

Trust us, if anything goes wrong in the country, which unfortunately is happening on a daily basis, don't seek answers from the government and it is also futile to pray to god.

Images of shuttered ATMs and helpless citizens have been making the rounds on Indian media, reminiscent of the aftermath of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shock announcement in 2016 banning 500- and 1,000-rupee notes.



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