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After 50 days of demonetisation: Cash crunch continues

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to citizens to bear the hardships of demonetisation for 50 days. Even though 50 days have passed but the common man continues to grapple with shortage of currency notes. To make matters worse, even banks and ATMs are running dry of cash. At present people are permitted to withdraw Rs 2,500 per day through ATMs and Rs 24,000 a week from banks but they are to receiving less amount of cash due currency shortage. The government might have gone ahead with the demonetisation drive but it had failed to do its homework properly to make alternative arrangements to ease the woes of customers. Everyday people have to wait in queues inside banks for withdrawing or depositing money. To make matters worse the restrictions on withdrawal are likely to continue beyond December 30 as RBI has unable to keep pace with the demand for new currency notes.  Thus the common man’s hardship won’t end anytime soon as it may take atleast five to six months to have enough money in the banking system.

Sudesh Singh a Borivali resident said, “I have visited my bank several times for withdrawing Rs 24,000 from my account but I am receiving only Rs 5,000 for due to shortage of new notes. Sometimes, I have to stand in queue for two hours for withdrawing my hard earned money. I have filed a complaint with my branch manager and banking ombudsman but they have failed to respond.”

Satish Rohankar, a financial executive employed with a brokerage firm in Kandivali said, “More than 100 people have lost their lives after demonetisation and many others have become unemployed. Will the government take any steps to provide alternative employment to those who have lost their jobs? Will they provide compensation to the families of those people who have died while standing in queues?”

Sameer Wadekar a BPO employee from Dahisar said, “Demonetisation won’t eliminate black money. Instead the government must take action against tax evaders. They also need to keep a check on realty and jewellery sector where huge transactions are being carried out in cash.”

A bank official from a private sector bank on the condition of anonymity said, “We have not received any money from RBI since last three days. Hence we are unable to disburse cash to customers. We have to wait for customers to first deposit their money so that it can be offered to others for withdrawal. RBI must take steps to ease currency note shortage.”

After demonetisation, banks are facing shortage of cheque books and ATM cards too. Since customers are using cheques for withdrawing their money from accounts hence their cheque books get exhausted soon. Therefore, they are applying for new cheque books but banks are unable to process their request within stipulated time frame due to shortage of cheque books. At present it takes more than a month to issue a new cheque book due to huge demand from customers.

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