Cash Crunch

Reserve Bank of India steps up printing of notes, says it has sufficient cash in its vaults

The central bank said there was cash shortage in certain places because of logistical problems related to replenishing ATMs.

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said that it was closely monitoring the non-availability of cash in ATMs in several states and had stepped up the printing of currency notes. The central bank said it had sufficient cash in its vaults and currency chests.

“The shortage may be felt in some pockets largely due to logistical issues of replenishing ATMs frequently and the recalibration of ATMs being still underway,” the RBI said in a press release. “Further, as a matter of abundant precaution, RBI is also taking steps to move currency to areas which are witnessing unusually large cash withdrawals.”

People from several states, including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and Telangana have said that ATMs in their areas either do not have cash or are not functioning.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the cash crunch was “temporary” and the result of “sudden and unusual increase” in withdrawals in some parts of the country. “We have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Overall, there is more than adequate currency in circulation,” he said.

The Department of Economic Affairs also said that the government was taking steps to ensure ATMs have cash, and was working on fixing defunct ATMs. “We print about 500 crore Rs 500 notes a day,” SC Garg, the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, told ANI. “We have taken steps to raise this production by five times, and in the next few days, we will have supply of about 2500 crore of Rs 500 notes a day.”

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