New Rs.500 notes arrive to arrest cash chaos

Despite RBI infusing more cash into the banking system, currency woes persist in semi-rural and rural areas.

Published: 17th November 2016 01:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2016 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

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People wait in a queue in front of an SBI branch in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday | Express

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: As cash scarcity continued to haunt people across the socio-economic classes in the State, new Rs 500 denomination currency reached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) here. It would be made available to public from Thursday.

RBI GM SP Mohanty displays new
D500 notes and

The RBI’s Regional Office said the brand new Rs 500 currencies, which are now in limited volume, have been dispatched to banks in coastal, western and southern districts of the State so that it has a pan-Odisha coverage. As this denomination is aimed at improving the scarcity scenario, more volumes would be pumped in soon.

‘‘We will receive more volumes of Rs 500 currencies which would be made available to banks in the State. We are hopeful that it will bring an improvement in the crunch situation,’’ General Manager, RBI, Bhubaneswar SP Mohanty said.

Despite the Central bank infusing more cash into the banking system, problems persisted mostly in semi-rural and rural areas of the State where the ATM network is low. People continued to throng bank branches seeking cash but in many cases were baffled by mutilated cash being handed out to them.

At Bhadrak, PN Behera, a retired Government employee, withdrew Rs 20,000 from a PSU bank on Tuesday and sought them in Rs 20 denomination for easy payment. However, he was at his wit’s end to find that at least 130 currency notes given to him were at various stages of mutilation.

‘’People whom I handed out the payment did not accept the notes because of the mutilation. Now I have to queue up again in the bank for exchange, but do not know if they will exchange those in the current rush,’’ Behera said.

However, this was not the only problem for people. The introduction of indelible ink to arrest misuse of multiple withdrawals has sent in confusing signals to public who are still uncertain how this mechanism would work. Many felt that the use of the ink would hit the poor and middle class hard who need a continuous flow of cash.

Since the ink cannot be removed for about a week or more, people are unsure if they can exchange cash more than once during that period. And what if the banks refuse them? For the economically weaker sections, the problem could be greater since not everyone can exchange Rs 4,500 at one go and may seek multiple exchanges at quick intervals.

The ink use, though, will take some time to be implemented in the State since it is yet to arrive. The ink would be procured through the Election Commission of India since it is the same which is used during polling.Meanwhile, the RBI has clarified that reports of fake Rs 10 coins in circulation are a rumour. The coins are genuine and must be accepted by retailers who have been rejecting it the most, the apex bank officials said.

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