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ATMs Run Dry,Govt Hopes to Fix Problem

Cash shortage in many states as ATMs run dry; govt hopes to fix problem in 3 days

The government has reportedly claimed that the lack of currency notes could be due to high demand of cash during Baisakhi, Bihu and other harvest festivals.

The states which have been affected include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana.

Commenting on the current shortage of cash in ATMs across the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Have reviewed the currency situation in the country.

Over all 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.”

While several states across the country have reported instances of ATMs going dry, the government has asked for at least three days to mitigate the lack of availability of currency.

“We’ve cash currency of Rs 1,25,000 crore right now. There is one problem that some states have less currency and others have more. Government has formed state-wise committee & RBI also formed committee to transfer currency from one state to other. It’ll be done in 3 days,” SP Shukla, Minister of State for Finance told.

The reason for the cash crunch this time could be the lack of higher denomination currency notes needed to pay harvest season wages. In some states, the recalibration of ATM machines to dispense 200 rupee currency notes is yet to be finished.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on its part, has increased the supply to cash to the affected states.

The finance ministry held a meeting with the RBI officials last week to ensure that there was no large-scale hoarding of cash which might set in panic among people.

The ministry officials also held consultations with state officials and bank heads in the wake of shortage of cash.

“Prior to note ban on November 8, 2016, the total value of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes in circulation was Rs 17.74 lakh. Compared to that over Rs 18 lakh crore worth of high denomination notes are in circulation today,” a senior RBI official told.

With crucial elections around the corner, the cash shortage in many BJP ruled states has begun to attract the ire from opposition parties.

Courtesy: ANI

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