Mumbai: As millions queued up outside banks and at ATMs, which opened after two days on Friday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said enough cash is available for exchanging the scrapped Rs500 and Rs1000 notes and asked people to be patient. “There is enough cash available with banks and all arrangements have been made to reach the currency notes all over the country. Bank branches have already started exchanging notes since 10 November 2016,” the RBI said in a statement.
It said that consequent to the withdrawal of legal tender character of existing Rs500 and Rs1000 bank notes, it has made arrangements to distribute the notes in new Rs2000 and other denominations across the country.
The central bank conceded however that it may take a while for banks to recalibrate ATMs and once that is done, “members of public will be able to withdraw from ATMs up to a maximum of Rs2,000 per card per day up to 18 November 2016.” After that, they will be able to withdraw up to Rs4,000 a day per card.
Several ATMs have started functioning from Friday morning as the banks could complete recalibration of these machines to allow withdrawals up to Rs2,000 to begin with. There were huge queues outside the banks for the second consecutive day on Friday after the government scrapped Rs500 and Rs1000 notes to combat black money.
Amid the woes of the harried customers, a 73-year-old person, Vishwanath Vartak, reportedly died in a suburb of Mumbai while standing in one such queue. Meanwhile, State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said her bank has collected Rs53,000 crore (from 10 November till around 2pm on 11 November) after the demonetisation of higher value currency. SBI has also exchanged about Rs1,500 crore worth of currency.