Cashless ATMs: State of affairs worse in rural areas

AHMEDABAD: Weekends is usually about eating out and shopping for most families. 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 cash shortage faced by banks was also acknowledged by deputy chief minister Nitin Patel last week, while he was in Surat.
Bankers indicate that the situation is worse in rural centres while urban centres are getting a reasonable cash supply, albeit, it is much less than the actual requirement. “Banks in urban centres such as Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot are getting merely 20% of the actual cash requirement. This is bound to create a shortage. When we’re not getting currency from the , how can we put cash in ATMs or make clearances. Farmers are adversely hit as they’re not getting paid in the harvest season,” said Janak Rawal, secretary, ().

“If there is no improvement in the situation, we will make a representation to the RBI,” he added.

“I and my wife had stepped out to run a few errands and get my mom’s medicines on Sunday evening. We moved through six ATMs fetching for cash in different banks on Anandnagar Road and Bodakdev, however, all of them had run out of cash,” said Shamik Das, a resident of Satellite.

Commenting on the situation, J N Singh, chief secretary, said, “We understand the urgency faced by the banks and are in constant touch with the RBI as well as the central government to resolve the issue.”

Singh also said that cash had been dispatched by the RBI upon special request to certain regions where there was acute shortage of cash. “Last week, we had sent cash through RBI to centres in North Gujarat and on Tuesday, we will be dispatching cash to Surat, where we’ve learnt of cash shortage getting severe,” Singh added.

Urban cooperative banks too are adversely hit with the currency shortage. “We cannot do much unless RBI starts dispatching currency to the currency chest from where we get cash. We hope the situation improves soon,” said Jyotindra Mehta, chairman, Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.