ATMs run dry again

Agency
Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Arun Jaitley said, "overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation...the temporary shortage is caused by sudden and unusual increase in some areas."

NEW DELHI: ATMs are out of cash or not working, people have reported from several states, including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. People in Delhi have also been tweeting about not getting cash at ATMs, in a reminder of long queues and non-functioning machines after demonetization in November 2016.

Reports suggest officials of the finance ministry have held a meeting with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last Thursday, to take stock of the situation. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation...the temporary shortage is caused by sudden and unusual increase in some areas."

Sources say that RBI has directed banks with surplus cash to help other banks facing a shortage of funds. There is a mismatch of demand and supply of cash, say sources. The transactions at ATMs have also gone up; earlier it was Rs. 3000 on an average, now it's Rs. 5000 say sources.

Reports of cash crunch at ATMs have brought back memories of November 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a midnight announcement said old notes will be scrapped. Congress and the Left took potshots at the government; while the Congress questioned whether it is a "gross mismanagement or a deliberate move", Mr Sitaram Yechury tweeted ATMs are dry but "only party flush with cash is the BJP."

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