Mr Jaitley today reviewed the currency situation in the country amid reports of its shortage in some parts of the country. It is also checking up with the Government that there is adequate cash in the economy and assuring the public that there is no need to fret over yet.
ATMs were empty or not working in several states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, domestic media reported. Referring to reports of ATMs running out of cash at some places in the state, he said: "Currency worth Rs. 15,00,000 crore was in circulation before demonetisation. The situation will be resolved as soon as possible".
However, this time, reports say that the cash crunch was a knee-jerk reaction to the latest Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, being tabled in parliament. "Nirav Modi fled with Rs 30,000 and the prime minister did not utter a word". RBI has been given an indent to increase the flow of Rs 500 notes in the system.
A large number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were empty and there were long queues at others where cash was still available.
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The Opposition, particularly the Congress, will definitely score brownie points on this over the BJP government, a party which while in Opposition used to throw barbs at the Congress-led government of policy paralysis and administrative lapses.
Commenting on the situation, J N Singh, chief secretary, said, "We understand the urgency faced by the banks and are in constant touch with the RBI as well as the central government to resolve the issue". "Bank ATMs are running dry". We continue to have in stock adequate currency notes of all denominations, including of Rs.500, 200 and Rs.100 to meet any demand, the Finance Ministry release said. To begin with, in recent weeks, there has been a severe shortage of Rs 2,000 notes (SBNs), indicating that several people may be holding on to lump sump amounts of cash once again. Old memories of November 8, 2016 are back, when Narendra Modi government had announced demonetisation, by withdrawing Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from the market and introducing Rs 2000 notes. This is a conspiracy to create problems.
Urban cooperative banks too are adversely hit with the currency shortage.
This panic in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has resulted in not only heavy cash withdrawals but also people depositing less money.