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With Rs 100 note less in number, senior citizens take the hit

As the announcement of demonetization came in the midst of the disbursal period, payments to many senior citizens have been delayed.

Published: 22nd November 2016 03:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2016 03:53 AM   |  A+A-

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An old man waiting outside a bank to exchange demonetised notes in Khairatabad on Saturday | EPS

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The demonetization drive has hit all, but there is one section that has been left in the lurch ever since it began: those eligible for old age pension. Several post offices say the crisis is as much about severe shortage of Rs 100 notes as about cash crunch.

Pensions for senior citizens are routed through post offices after the tahsildar clears the cheques. Once post office gets the cheques, it will disburse pensions through money order. This is usually disbursed between 5th and 10th every month. But this month, as the announcement of demonetization came in the midst of the disbursal period, payments to many senior citizens have been delayed, a postal official told Express. “The post offices are facing a crisis due to shortage of Rs 100 currency notes to disburse the pension,” the official added. Some of them have Rs 2,000 notes.  “But it will be difficult to ask for change from the senior citizens,” he added.

Postal banking transactions have also been disrupted by the recent development. “As we did not get any cash from the Indian Overseas Bank for the last couple of days, we have been managing with money from our head office, which gets money from the State B Bank of India,” said an India Post official.
Speaking to Express, Chief Post Master General (Tamil Nadu circle) Charles Lobo said the State had moved some of the old age pensions to bank accounts. “In certain districts, they have not transferred it to account holders. I will look into the issue,” he added.

Even banks, both public and private, are facing a similar crisis; a few even downing shutters ahead of the usual closure time. The trouble, they say, is shortage of Rs 100 notes. “We have enough Rs 2,000 notes but hardly any Rs 100s,” said a banker with the Bank of Baroda. They have all placed hopes on the introduction of the new Rs 500 currency notes to ease the liquidity scenario, but the notes are yet to reach Chennai. “We don’t have any information about it. The RBI is very secretive about any information,” a public sector bank official said.



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