NEW DELHI: Concerned over incidents of attack on cash carrying vans, government has proposed that ATMs should not be replenished with cash after 8 PM in cities and private cash transportation agencies must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day.
The deadline for putting money in the ATMs in rural areas would be 5 PM and 3 PM in Naxal-affected districts. Also, specially designed cash vans, fitted with CCTVs and GPS, must not carry more than Rs 5 crore per trip.
Two armed guards and driver in each van must be trained to "disengage with the situation and drive vehicle to safety" in case of an attack. These are part of the new SoPs proposed by the Home Ministry for private security agencies carrying out the task of carrying cash and replenishing them in ATMs.
Nearly 8,000 private vans ferry around Rs 15,000 crore daily between banks, currency chests and ATMs across the country. An additional Rs 5,000 crore is held up overnight by private security agencies in their private cash vaults on behalf of the banks.
The SoPs have been prepared after a spurt in attacks, hijacking and looting of cash vans which are seen as soft targets. The government has proposed that for replenishment in ATMs, cash transportation agencies must collect cash from the bank in the first half of the day and no cash loading of the ATMs or cash movement should be done after 8 PM in urban centers across India.
Per trip, a cash van cannot carry more than Rs 5 crore, the new SOPs have proposed. Specially designed and secure cash vans must be compulsorily deployed for carrying cash of over Rs 5 lakh per trip.
All cash transportation and ATM cash replenishment activities must only be carried out by operational staff who have undergone thorough antecedent check. All state controlling authorities for Private Security Agencies Regulation Act (2005) have been advised to enforce the above guidelines on all cash van agencies and review compliance from time to time.