Big Bazaar will now allow customers to withdraw up to Rs 2,000 using debit or ATM cards from its 258 outlets in over 115 cities and towns. The Future Retail Limited-owned company has tied up with the State Bank of India to offer the facility that will be available from November 24, reported The Economic Times.
The Future Group’s chairperson, Kishore Biyani, said the move was meant to help people facing problems because of the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, and support the government’s initiative in meeting its objective. “Now with customers being able to withdraw cash at Big Bazaar stores, they are welcome to visit our stores instead of queuing up at banks and ATMs,” he said. The Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 in a bid to fight corruption and black money.
On November 18, the All India Petroleum Dealers Association offered to begin dispensing up to Rs 2,000 at select public sector petrol stations across the country.
After a meeting between State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and senior officials of Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum, it was decided that the facility will first be available at around 2,500 petrol stations with State Bank of India point-of-sale machines, and will later be extended to around 20,000 more. The facility will be available even after November 24, which is the final day that petrol pumps can accept old currency.
The surprise decision to demonetise high-value currency has met with massive criticism from Opposition parties, which have also brought up the matter in Parliament. The Congress has accused the government of introducing “financial anarchy” in the country because of the sudden shortage of cash. However, the Reserve Bank of India has said there is enough cash in the country. Jaitley questioned the opposition expressed by the Congress to the move and said the party had “vested interests”.