ATMs to disburse new currency by early December: Finance Ministry
New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) The Finance Ministry said on Saturday that the ATMs will be able to disburse new currency notes only by early December as recalibration of the machines requires both hardware and software modifications.
“Recalibration (requires both software and hardware changes) of ATMs is going on, which will be completed by end of this month or early December. Other denominations will then be disbursed by ATMs,” a statement from Finance Ministry said.
“Presently only Rs 100 notes are being disbursed from the ATMs. Out of 2 lakh ATMs, about 1.2 lakh are operational,” it added.
Taking stock of the issuance of new currency notes to the public, Finance Ministry said that a total of over seven crore transactions have taken place in less than three days after the demonetisation was announced.
“A total of over 7 crore transactions have taken place from November 9 up to mid-day of November 12 (i.e. in the last two and a half days) for deposit, exchange of old notes and withdrawal from ATM and over the counter,” it said.
“Old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations amounting to about Rs 2 lakh crore have been deposited to banks,” it said.
Ministry of Finance along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian Banks Association (IBA) and a few major banks participated in the review meeting on Saturday to take stock of the cash availability, it said.
“There is sufficient cash available with RBI and Banks. They were advised step up the supply of cash to the public,” the statement said.
The availability of cash and issuance of cash to bank branches and post offices on a daily basis is being constantly monitored and necessary rebalancing being done for more efficient allocation of banknotes of requisite denominations between different areas, it said.
To cater to the requirement of rural areas, banks were advised to supply notes of smaller denominations (Rs 100 and less) as well as Rs 10 coins, it added.
One of the primary objectives of cancellation of legal tender character of old series of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was to check the menace of terror financing through counterfeit currency notes. The receipt of counterfeits currency notes is being monitored closely.
RBI has been advised by the government to set up a special cell to monitor the receipt of fake currency notes and inform such instances to the Economic Offences Wing of the state police, enforcement agencies of the Central Government and also to the Ministry of Finance.
“The law enforcement agencies have also been advised to maintain close vigil over possible movement of fake currencies and take prompt action as and when such cases are detected by them as well as by RBI and banks,” it said.