ATM cash crunch eases, SBI says problem to be resolved today.

Currency crunch seen in many parts of the country in past few days showed signs of easing today with 86 percent of ATMs coming online, cash being transported to deficit areas and government presses working overtime to print new notes, officials said.India’s largest bank SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said the problem will be resolved by Friday.

It is not a uniform cash crunch problem. It is there in geographies like Telangana and Bihar. We are hoping that the problem will be resolved by tomorrow because cash is in transition and it is reaching these states by today evening, SBI’s Kumar told reporters here.Meanwhile, government officials said that with special arrangements being made to transport cash to areas that during the last three days faced an “unusual spurt in demand”, 86 percent of the 2.2 lakh ATMs were operational, dispensing cash. This was higher than 80 percent operational ATMs on Wednesday and just 60 percent working ATMs on Tuesday.

An official said the government has ramped up printing of currency notes and is operating all the four presses 24×7. The presses this week have been minting Rs 500 and Rs 200 notes without a break to meet an estimated Rs 70,000 crore of currency shortfall in the country. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had on Tuesday stated that there is sufficient cash in its vaults and currency chests. “Nevertheless, printing of the notes has been ramped up in all the 4 note presses.” Holding accountable those who are hoarding cash, Kumar said the money should be recycled, meaning that if people withdraw money from the bank and the money needs to be deposited back as well.

I feel that it is unnecessary hype which has been created. Finance Secretary and RBI have said that there is no cash crunch in 80 percent of the ATMs and there is enough cash available in RBI chest also. It is a political conspiracy to mislead the nation. People should remain cautious about such conspiracies, he said. Meanwhile, All-India Banks Employees Association (AIBEA) has threatened to launch an agitation saying bank staff was facing public anger due to the cash crunch. It blamed the government and the RBI for the situation.

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