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Fin Min reviews cash situation

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New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has today reviewed the position regarding availability and distribution of all denomination of bank notes. Some of the highlights of the review and the decisions taken are as follows.

In the first 4 days, that is from 10 – 13 November, up to 5 pm, about Rs 3 lakh crore of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bank notes have been deposited in the system and about Rs 50,000 crores has been dispensed to customers by either withdrawal from their accounts or withdrawal from ATMs or by exchange at the counter. Within 3 or 4 days, the banking system has handled about 21 crore transactions.

Further, based on the reports received from the States, banks and other sources, the Ministry of Finance is continuously coordinating with the RBI, banks and post offices to make all denomination notes available at all locations.

Instructions have been given to banks and post offices to ensure proper distribution of all denomination notes. Banks have also been especially advised to ensure the availability and distribution of small denomination notes.

Chief secretaries of the States have been requested to identify the rural pockets, if any, where availability of cash has been a problem, and provide all support to the banks and post offices in order to ensure the last-mile distribution of small denomination of notes is done through mobile vans and banking correspondents.

The fact that certain business houses, namely hospitals, caterers, tent houses etc are not accepting cheques, demand drafts or online payment transfer from customers has been reported. The ministry has advised people that, in such cases, the customer can make a complaint to the concerned district magistrates or district administration for action against such establishments.

The Government of Assam has arranged for mobile vans with the support of banks and State government staff at certain hospitals for carrying out emergency banking transactions. All banks have now been advised to arrange mobile banking vans to the extent possible at major hospitals to carry out emergency banking for patients.

Banks have been advised to make arrangements for separate queues for senior citizens and handicapped persons. Separate queues will also be arranged for the exchange of cash-to-cash transactions against bank accounts.

The Government of has made special arrangements for cash deposits, withdrawals and the act of opening of new bank accounts in the remotely located areas with the help of banks and State government staff. The State governments have been requested to facilitate opening of new Bank accounts as a part of the financial inclusion programme.

The issuance of new Rs 500 notes has commenced.

Banks have been advised to increase the business correspondents limit to Rs 2500 for withdrawal from bank accounts. They have been advised also to increase the exchange limit over the counter from the existing Rs 4000 to Rs 4500.

Banks have been advised to increase the cash withdrawal limit at ATMs from existing Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 per day in the recalibrated ATMs.

The weekly limit of Rs 20,000 for withdrawal from Bank accounts has been increased to Rs.24,000. The limit of Rs10,000 per day has been removed.

Banks have been advised to increase the issuance and use of mobile wallets and debit or credit cards as also to provide them to those customers and establishments not having access to these non-cash means of payment.

The last date for submission of the annual life certificate for the government pensioners which is to be submitted in November every year has been extended up to 15 January 2017.

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