Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: It's that time of the month when central and state governments, MNCs across the country will credit salaries and pensions into millions of bank accounts bringing a smile on the face of employees.
The irony? ATMs are likely to be dry.
Following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes by the Modi government on November 8, millions have been seen thronging banks and ATMs across the country either to deposit, deposit or withdraw money.
On many occasions, banks and ATMs have ran dry to cash, especially in the recent on week.
And as time for salary approaches, banks are bracing up to face a huge rush in the coming days as people will queue up at branches across the country to withdraw salaries.
People are likely to throng at bank branches on December 1 as central and state governments credit salaries and pensions to millions of accounts. At the central level alone, there are around 50 lakh employees and 58 lakh pensioners.
Bankers said the government's move last week to provide Rs 10,000 in advance to non-gazetted staff may provide only a slight relief.
Given cash shortages with banks, and ATMs running dry, bankers fear a surge in rush.
Many banks have made 'SOS calls' to the Reserve Bank for additional cash for the first few days of December to meet the initial rush of people, already fatigued standing in unending queues to exchange/deposit old notes and make limited withdrawals over the past three weeks after the demonetisation was announced on November 8.
Banks have to make additional arrangement including security
deployment, said a senior banker of Canara Bank.
Many of them are contemplating to set up additional counters for withdrawal to meet the rush.
Despite recalibration of nearly 70 percent of ATMs do not have cash, while people are struggling with the problem of change as the operational ones dispense mostly high denomination Rs 2,000 notes.
Nearly 21 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced cancellation of legal tender of old Rs 500/1000 currency notes, small traders, truckers and construction workers are facing hardships in going about their business.
Due to sowing of rabi crop, the focus of the government has now shifted to rural areas, which means urban centres are feeling the cash squeeze.
Sources said funds are being made available in rural and semi-urban pockets so that farmers get adequate cash for sowing rabi crop.
There are also reports that banks in major metros are getting less than their cash requirement leading to chaos at the branches.
RBI Governor Urjit Patel had earlier said that the central bank is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and taking all necessary actions to "ease the genuine pain of citizens" with a clear intent to normalise the things as early as possible.
With PTI Inputs