ROURKELA: Scarcity of cash with customers continued to severely hit wholesale and retail trade at the commercial hub of Rourkela city and rest of Sundargarh district. Banking industry sources said, the scramble for collecting cash continued for the third consecutive day on Saturday with banks, post offices and ATMs witnessing huge rush throughout the day.
All ATMs of nationalised and private banks which can be refilled with `two lakh and `four lakh cash in `100 denominations were quickly getting dry amid unprecedented demand for cash.
Seeking to allay fears, Regional Manager, SBI, BB Das said adequate low denomination notes are available to last for at least a week and appealed people to maintain composure for the national cause. Conservatively, retail and wholesale trades across Rourkela city and elsewhere claimed to have come down by 70 per cent since Wednesday, claimed Brij Mohan Agarwal, national senior vice-president of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). Agarwal said, online trading practice is abysmally low and added that it is a temporary hardship against a bigger cause of busting black money. The annual commercial taxes target of the Sundargarh district is about `1,040 crore.
Sources said, Rourkela region of SBI comprising Panposh and Bonai sub-divisions with 46 SBI branches saw deposits coming down drastically to about `50 crore on Friday and Saturday.
This is in contrast to the single day deposit of `50 crore on Thursday. What initially worried the authorities was surge in proxy exchanges of banned high value notes by slum dwellers and Bangladeshi refugees at SBI counters. On Thursday, the SBI counters had dispensed of about `11.09 crore, while on Friday and Saturday an average of `10 crore were exchanged on each day.
Yet, by Saturday late afternoon SBI’s note exchange software started rejecting identification proof numbers that were getting repeated. Meanwhile, people restricted their buying needs to only essential commodities, that too on smaller scale. The problems aggravated further amid inadequate supply of `100 denomination notes as currencies in new denominations are yet to arrive.