Extra security for cash vans transporting money to banks and ATMS

NEW DELHI,Nov12:  As cash runs out fast at most ATMs across the country, the Home Ministry has asked states to provide extra protection to cash carrying vans – mostly private owned – which transport money to banks and ATMs. The advisory by the Centre comes three days after 500 and 1000-rupee notes were demonetized by the government in a move to curb black or illegal money.

There are fears that banks, ATMs and cash carrying vans can be waylaid by organized gangs and local anti-social groups who would have lost heavily in the demonetization exercise.

More importantly, there are approximately 8000 specialized vans – across the country – that carry cash to ATMs and banks. And, on a given day they are able to ferry about Rs. 15,000 crore. These vans also hold over Rs. 5,000 crores overnight on behalf of banks. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that it would take about 100 days to replenish the entire Rs. 16 lakh crore in value and consisting 86.4 percent of the total value of the currency that has been withdrawn, sources told NDTV.

 The Home Ministry is considering relaxing the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) now in use to carry cash so that currency is replenished faster, sources said. Movement of cash to replenish ATMs and banks is allowed till 8 pm in urban areas, 5 pm in the northeastern states and 3 pm in Maoist-affected areas.

There was chaos at most ATMs across the country on Friday as they re-opened for the first time, two days after 500 and 1000-rupee notes were demonetized by the government. But even after standing in hours-long queues, many had to return disappointed, as most ATMs ran out of cash.