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Queues at ATMs, Banks short

Mumbai: The run for the cash seems to have eased slightly in the city as shorter queues were seen outside ATMs and banks today, as just two days are left for depositing the scrapped Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes.

Long queues outside ATMs.
Long queues outside ATMs.

However, people opting for cashless transactions complained about “additional charges” being levied by some merchants, saying it would create a “roadblock” for the entire exercise undertaken by the government last month.

While the cash flow appears to have improved in many places ATMs continued to be non-functional, as was the case in initial days after the November 8 demonetisation.

A home-maker from suburban Ghatkopar said, “When I went to deposit old notes in a private sector bank here, I had anticipated long queue outside the branch. But I was relieved to find that there was no crowd. It seems people are done with their deposits.”

She said that the government had given enough time to deposit money and the panic in initial days was uncalled for.

Vidyavihar resident Vimlesh Shah said, “There was no queue at the bank branch in my locality. This has been the position for last six to seven days. The situation resembles the pre-demonetisation era.”

Confirming the same, a senior executive with a private bank in south Mumbai said, “The situation has almost normalised since last four to five days. There is no queue outside the branch and withdrawal limit too has gone up.”

He added, “Initially, we could disburse only Rs 4,000 to 5,000 to our saving account holders. But now we are in a position to give them over Rs 10,000 at one go. Definitely the cash flow to the bank has improved.”

Thane resident Hamid Sheikh said, “I would say that the entire thing will become normal only when the ATMs start dispensing money. But so far, ‘ATM Closed’ board is a common feature here.”

Meanwhile, people who have gone cashless in various transactions want the government to check on those trying to take advantage of the situation by levying additional charges for products and services.

R K Trivedi, a media professional said, “When I booked movie ticket online, I was shocked to find that the service provider was levying Rs 34.50 per ticket as internet handling charge. When I contacted by banker, I was told that it was the act of its third party partnership. We can not do anything.”

He said that such things are definitely going to create roadblocks in shifting to cashless drive.



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