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Bank men say cash crunch will last five more months, blame Centre, RBI for calamitous situation

Contrary to the tall claims being made by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India authorities, the cash crunch and hardships being faced by the people in the wake of demonetization would last till December 30 and the crisis is not likely to be resolved till another five months.

This startling and disturbing revelation was made by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Bank Employees’ Federation at a media conference on Friday while holding the RBI solely responsible for pushing the people, especially the poor and middle class sections, to insurmountable agony and  difficulties besides driving the harassed and over-worked bank employees into a state of depression.

Narrating the reasons for the present-day crisis being faced by the people following the demonetization move of the Union government, Bank Employees Federation general secretary Rambabu went hammer and tongs at the RBI authorities for their lackadaisical attitude in taking the required measures before hand to ease the expected problem. He said though the four mints were printing the new currency notes full time, the required currency for disbursement to the people after demonetization five months would not be sufficient to ease the crisis.

Asserting that the Bank Employees Federation was not against the intensions of the Union government in demonetizing the big notes, Rambabu said the implementation was found wanting on various counts. The RBI should have taken advance measures like printing adequate number of required currency, including a large quantity of smaller denomination, which it has utterly failed to do. Moreover, the 500 rupee notes have not been supplied to the banks till now resulting in not only the people running from pillar to post but also subjecting the bank employees to unbearable pressure from customers demanding smaller notes, he observed.

RBI failed to guess the grim situation

Pointing out that 85 percent of the deposits were in public sector banks, the RBI should have ensured that the public sector banks should have been supplied with 85 percent of the new denomination currency and even smaller notes,  Rambabu said and alleged that instead the RBI had ensured that the private banks were supplied with adequate currency. Thus, the public sector banks suffered at the cost of private banks, which have blatantly dispersed cash violating all the set rules and norms of the RBI, he alleged and demanded a thorough inquiry into the transactions of the private banks.

According him, out of an amount of Rs 25,000 crore in Jan Dhan accounts, nearly Rs 24,000 crore were with the private banks. After the demonetization was announced, there was deposit to the tune of Rs 3000 crore in the 60 lakh Jan Dhan accounts in the Telangana State. He also charged that the RBI had not taken proper steps in ensuring that both AP and Telangana States were supplied with the required amounts of currency. Instead the cash flow to the AP was more leaving the banks in Telangana go cash hungry.

Bank staff at the receiving end

When asked about the harassment being faced by the bank employees for want of adequate cash for disbursement, Rambabu said the RBI authorities were asking the Telangana banks to approach the AP State and also threatening the over-worked employees to quit if they could not manage the situation. Therefore, he said, it was imperative on the part of the RBI to disclose the inflow and outflow of money during the last fortnight.

Referring to the non-functioning of the ATMs, Rambabu said there are 6,000 and odd ATMs in Telangana State and they need to be recalibrated physically and manually after the needed technical adjustments. Hence the working of all the ATMs to their full capacity would take more time thus surmounting the difficulties of the people, he observed. He said despite various shortcomings and drawbacks, the bank employees were struggling to ease the problems of the people as for as possible though the required support from the RBI was found lacking. As such the employees are pushed to state of depression and some of them are even developing suicidal tendencies, he observed.

Rambabu clarified that the Bank Employees Federation was forced to come out in the open after vainly waiting for a fortnight the situation to ease. But there seems to be no relief to the people and also to the employees being subjected to unprecedented pressure and depression. They were forced to come out to explain the true facts, he added. (NSS)