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» » » » Cash Crunch "Temporary", Says Arun Jaitley, Empty ATMs Reported: 10 Points

NEW DELHI:  Responding to reports that ATMs are out of cash or not working in several states, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today conceded a "temporary shortage in some areas" and said it was being "tackled quickly". He also said he had reviewed the currency situation and there was "more than enough" in circulation and in banks. People have complained about a cash crunch in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. Many have tweeted about not getting cash at ATMs in Delhi too, in a reminder of long queues and non-functioning machines after demonetization in November 2016.
Here are the top 10 points
  1. Mr Jaitley said: "Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by 'sudden and unusual increase' in some areas is being tackled quickly."
  2. Junior finance minister Shiv Pratap Shukla had earlier given a time-frame of three days to resolve the problem. "We have cash currency of Rs. 1,25,000 crore now. Some states have less currency and others have more. The government has formed state-wise committees and the RBI has also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other."
  3. Officials of the Reserve Bank of India, who held a meeting with finance ministry officials, said cash was back in demand. "Earlier it was around Rs. 3000 per withdrawal, now it is Rs. 5000," an official said.
  4. People are hoarding cash, said sources in the RBI. "Currency in circulation has not grown despite growth in economy after the demonetisation in November 2016. Currency in circulation on November 4, 2016, was Rs. 17.74 lakh crore. Currency in circulation now stands at Rs. 18.04 lakh crore," sources said.
  5. State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar said the problem lies largely in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and parts of North Bihar. "We will increase the circulation of 500 notes within 5 to 7 days," he said.
  6. The SBI chief said it was wrong to call it a currency shortage. "One reason could be that the procurement season has come and the payment to farmers has gone up. In Maharashtra and Mumbai, there is no cash crunch as far as SBI is concerned," Mr Kumar told NDTV.
  7. In Hyderabad, many say they have been unable to withdraw cash since yesterday. "We have visited several ATMs since yesterday but it is the situation everywhere," said one of the residents. A person in Varanasi told news agency ANI, "ATM Kiosks are not dispensing cash. We have visited 5-6 ATMs since morning. We need to pay for the admission of children and groceries."
  8. The Congress has questioned whether the situation was the result of "gross mismanagement or a deliberate move". "Modi-ji has destroyed the banking system. Nirav Modi fled with Rs. 30,000 crore and the PM didn't utter a word. We were forced to stand in queues as he snatched 500-1000 rupee notes from our pockets and put in Nirav Modi's pocket," party chief Rahul Gandhi said.
  9. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted ATMs are dry but "only party flush with cash is the BJP". "Seeing reports of ATMs running out of cash in several States. Big notes missing. Reminder of #DeMonetisation days. Is there a Financial Emergency going on in the country?" Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
  10. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has alleged a conspiracy behind Rs. 2,000 notes vanishing from the market. "Currency worth Rs. 15,00,000 crore was in circulation before demonetisation. Later, it increased to Rs. 16,50,000 crore. But notes of Rs. 2,000 are missing from the market," he said on Monday.

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