More than a year after the nation faced ‘cash crunch’ following government’s decision of demonetization, people in some states are again facing the problem with a majority of ATMs running out of cash.
A majority of ATMs in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have gone dry, forcing the people run from one ATM to another in search of cash.
“We have been unable to withdraw cash from ATMs as the kiosks (ATM Kiosk), in several parts of the city, have run out of cash. We have visited several ATMs since yesterday but it is the situation everywhere,” said a customer in Hyderabad.
“We do not know what or where the problem is but the common man is facing difficulty as the ATM Kiosks are not dispensing cash. We have visited 5-6 ATMs since morning. We need to pay for the admission of children and purchase groceries & vegetables,” said people in Varanasi.
Reacting on the situation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said there is "more than adequate" currency in circulation and the temporary shortage in certain states is being "tackled quickly".
"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," he said.
Jaitley said in a tweet that he has reviewed the currency situation in the country.
"Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by 'sudden and unusual increase' (in demand) in some areas is being tackled quickly," Jaitley said.
Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said the government has formed a committee to address the problem of currency shortage in certain states and the issue would be resolved in next 2-3 days.
"The Government has set up state-wise committee and RBI has also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other because for money transfer you need the permission of the RBI. It (the shortage) will be solved in 2-3 days," Shukla said.
"Government of India would like to assure that there have been adequate supply of currency notes which have met entire demand so far. It would also like to assure it would be supplying adequate currency notes to meet even higher demand in coming days/months," said Department of Economic Affairs.
According to media reports, RBI said the lack of cash is due to huge demand in festive season. The regulator further claimed that the situation will normalise in a day or two.
Speaking on the issue, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday claimed that Rs 2,000 notes were vanishing from the market, and alleged that there was a "conspiracy" behind it.
“Where these notes of Rs 2,000 denomination are going, who are keeping them out of circulation? Who are the persons creating shortfall of cash? This is a conspiracy to create problems. The government will act tough on this," he said.
RBI report show that the currency in circulation in the country has reached the pre-demonetisation level of about Rs 17 lakh crore.