THIRUVANANTHAPURAM /KOCHI: Kerala reported no cash shortage on Tuesday as other states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana saw ATMs being out of cash or becoming dysfunctional.
Kerala's Finance Department said the shortage of cash was not reported from any part of the state. Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac who is in Hyderabad now, has assigned the Finance Secretary and Treasuries Department director to monitor the cash flow in association with the central bank. Isaac also tweeted: "Note scarcity is a sign of growing distrust with banks. People are withdrawing their money and hoarding it."
On whether the state has surplus cash at its disposal, an RBI official said the central bank was studying the data and will come to know in a day or two. A senior official of the Finance Department said the department contacted the RBI and different agency banks which supply money to the treasuries to check the cash position in the wake of reports of shortage in some states.
"The RBI and the banks have maintained they have sufficient stocks," the official told Express. Treasuries director Jafar A M said until Tuesday all treasuries received money as per the imprest request placed with agency banks. A senior RBI told Express that more people use net banking, electronic transactions, debit/credit cards, etc. in Kerala vis-a-vis less developed states. "Due to this, the state requires less amount of cash compared to say less developed states in the north, where people depend more on cash," explained the official.
A senior executive at SBI said the 'imbalance' caused by demonetisation continues to some extent and there is no new crisis of currency shortage. "As a sizeable amount of transactions is done online there is no shortage of hard currency and all our ATMs are dispensing cash," he said.
In Kochi, the commercial capital of the state, the ATMs of State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, Dhanalakshmi Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank and Federal Bank had adequate supply of cash on Tuesday.
"I haven't faced any problem with the ATMs near High Court in these days and even today I was able to withdraw money," said Felsy Paiva, a Federal Bank customer. Added Jinu Sunny, a SBI ATM user:
"ATMs are very important these days and Kochi has enough ATMs everywhere and I am happy there is no shortage of money."
ATM situation in North Kerala
KOZHIKODE: There was no cash shortage in ATMs in the city and ATM units of almost all banks functioned without any interruption on Tuesday. Express undertook a check of the ATMs of all major banks - both private and public - across the city. Only one ATM belonging to Bank of Baroda was found defunct due to technical issues. When inquired about cash shortage, ATM users said they have not felt such a crisis in the city.
MALAPPURAM: The district recorded no major currency shortage. According to Lead Bank authorities there was adequate currency in circulation and also in ATMs. "No issue has been reported in the district and banks have enough currency stock," said Lead Bank manager Kunjiraman T P. The banker said the shortage has not hit the district even on holidays. "We have noticed no such crisis during holidays and banks had filled ATMs ahead of holidays," he said.
KANNUR: Apart from some usual cases of drying up of money in a few ATMs, no serious shortage of money was reported from Kannur on Tuesday. "It happens occasionally. Especially on days preceding and succeeding important holidays. But there is no acute shortage of money in ATMs in Kannur today, said an assistant manager of a new generation bank. An ATM Nodal Officer with SBI said though there was shortage of money, there were no serious complaints on the part of the customers.
KASARGOD: There was sufficient cash in ATMs in the district. Monday's sudden hartal might have helped as very few people stepped out to withdraw money. Lead Bank manager, Kasargod, C S Ramanan, said there was no shortage of cash in the chests in Kasargod. In case individual machines have run out of cash, they will be reloaded by evening, he added.