The Left wing Bank employees, hold conference amid cash chaos in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 12 : Amid chaos in banking operations in Kerala following demonetisation, a three-day state conference of bank employees began in Thodupuzha on Saturday, leaving many furious.

State BJP General Secretary K. Surendran lashed out at the organisers of the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) for holding the meet at a time when they should have been more committed to the customers’ needs.

“The CPI-M in Kerala should have advised the organisers of the conference to postpone their meet as people were running from pillar to post for withdrawing their money.

“In the three-day meeting, a few of the CPI-M ministers are also taking part. May be the CPI-M is playing a political game to enable people to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Surendran.

Inaugurating the event, CITU state general secretary and senior CPI-M leader Elamaram Kareem said the meeting was planned not in consultation with the Prime Minister but long back.

“Everything has been taken care of so that the normal banking operations would not be affected as adequate staff is there in the banks,” said Kareem.

According to information, of the 550 employees who were to take part in the event on Saturday only 375 were registered.

People across the state on Saturday thronged various ATMs and banks to withdraw their money, but like Friday the ATMs were cash-dry in an hour.

“It’s unfortunate that they are acting irresponsibly. Many are suffering as restrictions on withdrawal are in place. Everyone would have appreciated if they had postponed the meeting,” said an angry housewife.

She said that this was an unprecedented situation as she returned after waiting for an hour to withdraw money from an ATM.

K.S. Krishna, general secretary of the State Bank of Travancore Employees Union overseeing the operations of the various ATMs of the bank, said the problem now was that there was a shortage of Rs 100 notes.

“We directly operate most of our ATMs and on Friday itself we refilled at least five to six times,” he said.

Krishan said: “So far there is no information on the new Rs 500 denomination. The distribution of currencies is done by the local Reserve Bank of India offices.”

Meanwhile with Sunday also a working day for all the banks in the state, the problem of shortage of Rs 100 notes appears to be the main issue.

According to estimates, Kerala has about 6,900 bank branches and 8,000 ATMs.