New Delhi : Bankers are surprised and angry at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ignoring their input to the government that the currency supply by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is not adequate creating a daily law and order problem in a large number of bank branches.

They said if Jaitley is telling the truth that the RBI has “very large amount of currency,” he should better direct it to release more currency to banks to reduce the queues before the banks and ATMs.

The RBI should be taken to task why the money supply is not enough as it is the bank staff that has to bear the brunt of the angry customers for the difficulty they face on denial of money officially permitted to be withdrawn, they said.

The finance ministry is regularly collecting the feedback from the state-level bankers committees to sort out the issues and the latest feedback so received by it on situation until December 26 shows the cash crunch in banks in almost all the states, with the exception of Bihar and two, three other smaller states.

The bankers’ biggest concern is that they would not be able to cope up with the heavy rush from January 2 after the salaries are credited to the employees’ accounts. The banks have already asked their branches to collect as much cash as possible on Friday and Saturday to meet the demand in the next eight, ten days when people withdraw money for their regular monthly expenses.

Another cause of worry among the bankers is no clarity on continuation of the withdrawal limits of Rs 24,000 per week from savings and Rs 50,000 from current accounts and Rs 2500 per day from the ATMs as these limits come to end at midnight of Friday and there will be a lot of demand on the banks for higher withdrawals on Saturday unless orders are issued by night fixing the new limits.

Expecting the crisis not to blow over any time soon, the bankers have asked the finance ministry to direct the RBI to have the new withdrawal limits notified for another three months up to March 31 and revise them as soon enough money reaches the banks to cater to the demand.

While those filling the ATMs are complaining that they were not getting enough cash from the banks and as such they were not able to service more than 45% ATM.

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Free Press Journal