Cash crunch hits banks in capital

Staff reporter
ITANAGAR, Dec 7: Cash crunch has hit several banks, along with their branches, in the state capital, forcing them to face problems in carrying out daily transactions and making large payments to customers.
There are reports that there is a serious shortage of small denominations, from Rs 100 downwards, at almost all the banks in the capital, as well as Papum Pare district. Customers are also complaining that the ATMs do not have Rs 2000 notes but only the Rs 500 denomination.
On being asked, a senior manager of a private sector bank said, “We are facing a lot of inconvenience, but have somehow been able to arrange cash to overcome the scarcity. We are totally dependent on the SBI, which is the custodian of the chest.”
Another manager of the bank informed that the bank is currently arranging fund from its branches in Assam and other places.
Sources at the SBI said that the RBI is aware of the cash shortage. The bank’s general manager said the ATMs are being replenished with Rs 2000 notes because of the scarcity of Rs 500 notes.
He explained that the ATM machines do not have cassettes for filling Rs 50 and smaller notes. “However, small denominations are being delivered over the counter,” he added.
The SBI’s Regional Office’s Chief Manager (Admin), Tarun Kumar Boro, confirmed that almost all the branches of the bank are facing a cash shortage.
“This will create problems as the RBI is not providing cash, although we have been sending our indents from time to time,” he said.
On the frequent exhaustion of money in the ATMs, Boro explained that, while everyone draws money at the beginning of the month, this being the festival season, there is more demand for cash.
“Apart from that, out of the 72 ATMs in the capital complex, 15 have been vandalized. It will take some time to repair them,” he said.
“The remaining 16 in Itanagar and 41 in the Naharlagun-Doimukh area are functioning normally,” Boro said.
He added that the rush at the banks and the ATMs is also caused by the shortage of PoS machines.
Boro said, however, he has apprised the RBI of the situation.
“They have assured to look into the matter, but it will take two weeks to replenish the cash,” he said.
But he added that the RBI informed him of a shortage of cash with it, too.
The last consignment of cash arrived in Itanagar on 28 October. Boro said it is expected that the next consignment will arrive in the third week of December.
He appealed to the customers to use net banking and transact digitally to save cash in the meantime.