Govt goes on overdrive to ease cash flow, sets up task force to expedite recalibration of ATMs

Government has set up a task force under the chairmanship of RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra to ensure that ATMs across the country are ready to dispense higher denomination notes in the shortest time.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 15, 2016, 00:39 AM IST
Govt goes on overdrive to ease cash flow, sets up task force to expedite recalibration of ATMs

New Delhi: Government has set up a task force under the chairmanship of RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra to ensure that ATMs across the country are ready to dispense higher denomination notes in the shortest time.

"The number of ATMs which will be recalibrated and which can dispense Rs 2,000 notes will be stepped up...To make this whole process faster, to expedite this whole process, a task force was decided to be set up under the chairmanship of Deputy Governor," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said.

The team has been mandated with working closely with banks and various agencies involved in disbursement of cash and recalibration of hardware and software of the ATM network, he said.

"The task force would ensure that ATM network is activated in the quickest time," he said, adding that it will have its first meeting either today or tomorrow.

The eight-member task force, which will have officials from Finance Ministry, Home Ministry and banks, has been mandated to chalk out a strategy for expeditious reactivation of all ATMs.

Meanwhile, ATMs have started dispensing Rs 500 notes.

Besides, the panel will have members from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Chief General Manager of Department of Payment and Settlement Systems (DPSS) and Department of Currency Management of RBI.

A representative each of ATM OEMs, Managed Service Providers, cash in transit (CIT) companies and white label ATM (WLA) operators will be invited to the deliberations of the task force. It may also invite others, if needed.

Recalibration of ATMs involves multiple agencies - banks, ATM manufacturers, NPCI, switch operators, among others -- making it a complex operation requiring immense coordination, RBI said in a statement.

Rituraj Sinha, president, Cash Logistics Association of India, said, "It gives us a great deal of encouragement to work even harder after the Finance Ministry has taken cognisance of our recommendation to set up an ATM task force."

"In a meeting yesterday, we discussed specific methods to ease bottlenecks in the system as we are facing a logistics problem," he added.

There are about 2 lakh ATMs in the country and it has become necessary to recalibrate all cash handling machines to dispense the new design high security notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denomination.