ATMs across country go dry, Arun Jaitley says 'temporary shortage'

Posted April 17, 2018

This unusual spurt in demand is seen more in some parts of the country like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, MP and Bihar, reads the statement. However, as several ATMs ran out of cash on Sunday, people ended up running from one ATM to another, to make cash withdrawals and their expenses. The current currency in circulation is around Rs 18.04 trillion - this is marginally higher than the notes in circulation during demonetisation time, which was Rs 17.74 trillion.

An estimated 10-12% of the total ATMs are facing a cash crunch. Earlier in the day, a statement by the finance ministry confirmed reports of cash shortages and some ATMs running dry of cash or becoming non-functional in some parts of the country."There has been unusual spurt in currency demand in the country in last three months", it said.

Garg attributed this sudden cash demand to localised phenomenon. Despite currency flow in the economy being higher than the pre-demonetisation level many states have reported shortage of cash over the past few days.

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■ Nearly double withdrawals by individuals due to the ongoing festive season.

Mysuru is not the only city facing cash crunch, but many other cities and towns in the state and other states have also been facing the same problem. There is one problem, some states have less currency and others have more. The government has formed a state-wise committee and RBI also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other. The government has termed the situation as sudden and temporary which it wants to fix in three days. Seizing an opportunity, some opposition leaders didn't refrain from blaming the centre for the cash crunch. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has commented that cash crunch in ATMs remind her of the demonetization days. He has been quoted as saying, "Where are these notes of Rs. 2,000 denomination going?"

According to MoS Finance SP Shukla, the government has cash currency of Rs 1,25,000 crore right now. Now, this figure is Rs 16.50 lakh crore.

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Finally, the liquidity issues that were introduced as a result of the Rs 2,000 note could still be lingering, with the reported increase in Rs 100 and smaller-value bank notes not picking up enough slack. Who is keeping them out of circulation? People are really struggling with the cash crunch and in the midst of this, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has tweeted on the issue. This is a conspiracy to create problems. "The government will act tough on this", he said.

Needless to say the Modi government could have done without this embarrassing situation.

This awkward episode will inevitably dent the image of the BJP - "The party with a difference".

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The Manipur government also wrote a letter to the finance ministry apprising them of acute shortage of cash in the state.