While The Ghost Of Demonetisation Returns To Haunt Parts Of India
As the ATMs (automated teller machines) of seven states Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana reportedly faced acute shortage of cash in their ATMs, the ghost of demonetisation seemed to return to haunt the parts of India. Seizing an opportunity, some opposition leaders didn’t restrain from blaming the centre for the same. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Seeing reports of ATMs running out of cash in several States. Big notes missing. Reminder of #DeMonetisation days. Is there a Financial Emergency going on in the country?”
Seeing reports of ATMs running out of cash in several States. Big notes missing. Reminder of #DeMonetisation days. Is there a Financial Emergency going on in the country? #CashCrunch#CashlessATMs
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 17, 2018
Also, famous author Chetan Bhagat, humorously, remarked, “There used to be dry days for alcohol. Now there are dry days for cash.”
There used to be dry days for alcohol. Now there are dry days for cash. #CashCrunch
— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) April 17, 2018
The criticism and the reported inconvenience notwithstanding, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claimed that there is “more than adequate” currency in circulation and the temporary shortage in certain states is being “tackled quickly”.
Jaitley said in a tweet that he has reviewed the currency situation in the country.
“Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ (in demand) in some areas is being tackled quickly,” Jaitley said.
Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) April 17, 2018
Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance, also echoes the same sentiments. He said, ” We have cash currency of Rs. 1,25,000 crore right now. There is one problem that some states have less currency and others have more. The government has formed state-wise committees and the RBI has also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other. It’ll be done in three days.”
Also Read: Cash Crunch “Temporary”, Says Arun Jaitley, Empty ATMs Reported: 10 Points
It is surprising to note that all this happens while the RBI report shows that the currency in circulation has already hit the pre-demonetisation level of about Rs 17 lakh crore.
The State Bank of India said it was wrong to call it a currency shortage. “In certain geographies, the demand for cash is more. The demand is up in the procurement season,” said the bank’s chairman Rajnish Kumar
At the same time, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, a BJP-ruled state, Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleged a conspiracy behind Rs. 2,000 notes vanishing from the market. While addressing a farmers’ convention, he said, “The currency worth Rs. 15,00,000 crore was in circulation before demonetisation. After the demonetisation exercise, the currency in circulation increased to Rs. 16,50,000 crore. But notes of Rs 2,000 are missing from the market.”