SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya announced that the ATMs will soon start dispensing Rs 50 and Rs 20 currency notes.
Following Modi's surprise announcement on 8 November that 500 and 1,000 rupee currency notes would become invalid from midnight, people have been queuing up outside banks and ATMs to either get rid of the defunct notes or withdraw valid smaller value notes.
Several bankers have said that less than half of the 2,18,542 ATMs are operating now, as many of these machines are being recalibrated to distribute the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes, besides the Rs 100 notes. Banks' infrastructure is unable to handle the huge rush resulting in long serpentine queue where the average waiting time is four hours, especially for the currency exchange.
Cash withdrawal limit at ATMs was hiked to Rs 2,500 from Rs 2,000 a day.
Getting cash-strapped with each passing day, people did not seem impressed with the government's last night decision to increase the weekly and daily withdrawal limit from banks and ATMs. Even many News TV channels showed the video clips of brawls outside banks and ATM.
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After facing flak regarding the unavailability of enough currency notes of lower denominations, the Centre issued a statement today to let the people know that there is enough cash in the banks.
India's largest commercial bank also said that total amount of deposits have been coming down and withdrawals are going up. The government will take more steps to curb tax evasion, including action against benami property, he said at an event in Goa on Sunday.
Briefing the media on Monday after a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the previous evening, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said recaliberation of ATMs to disburse higher denomination notes had also started and will be enhanced in the next few days.
- Banks will have separate queues for senior citizens and differently-abled people, those who want to conduct transactions against accounts held with the bank, and those who wish to exchange notes.
However, difficulties posed by hard-to-find cash failed to discourage people.