Pursuant to demonetization of Rs.500/- and Rs.1000 currency notes, the task of providing exchange facility and withdrawal of cash from bank branches all over the country cast a huge responsibility on the workmen and officers of the bank. In spite of toiling beyond normal business hours and also sacrificing weekly off on Saturday & Sunday, the situation does not appear to be eased soon.
The ATMs which were expected to minimise the inconvenience and offer some comfort to bankers also failed at most of the places. The main problem with ATMs is they are till now configured to dispense cash for Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in 3 cassettes (slots) which are now to be reconfigured to dispense by fitting 4 cassettes of currency notes of Rs 50, Rs 100,and new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 denominations. The cassettes for Rs 50 and Rs 2,000 denomination notes are not presently configured in the ATM machines. Thus, replenishment of old notes from ATMs and finishing the back-end work the same day become problematic. It may take more time at least one or two weeks to get reconfiguration of all the ATMs across the country. Till the functions of ATMs are stabilized, the pressure on bank branches may not come down and misery of public and bank staff may go on.
Today’s RBI press report indicates that on 10th Nov 2016, about 10 crore exchange transactions have been reported. RBI press note also states that adequate stocks of other denomination notes which are legal tender (including ₹ 2000), are kept ready in the Currency Chests located at more than 4,000 places across the country. Bank branches are linked to them to source their requirements from them. To sustain the demand, Printing Presses are printing the currency notes at full capacity so that adequate quantum of notes is available.
In view of the scheme for exchange of the specified bank notes for other denominations is available all across the country till December 30, 2016, and even beyond, at specified RBI offices, the Reserve Bank has requested people, not to rush to banks for exchange of notes, putting avoidable strain on the banking branch network.