SBI chief says cash crunch at bank's ATMs will normalise by Friday

The finance ministry said earlier this week that there is an unusual spurt in demand in some parts of the country like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, MP and Bihar. (PTI file photo)

The cash crunch faced at State Bank of India ATMs will normalise by Friday in Bihar and Telangana where the problem persists, chairman Rajnish Kumar said but rued hoarding of currency notes was posing a big problem.

"It is not a uniform cash crunch problem. It is there in geographies like Telangana and Bihar. We are hoping that the problem will be resolved by tomorrow because cash is in transition and it is reaching these states by today (Wednesday) evening," Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

He said though the cash situation had improved in certain pockets, the money deposited back in the banks was lesser and especially in the states like Telangana cash was not returning to the system.

"If we hold everything (currency notes), then whatever supply the banks do, will be insufficient for the country. So it is important that the currency is also recycled," the SBI chief said.

The government, too, has admitted that currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination are not coming back in the system fast enough. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said he suspected that Rs 2,000 notes were being hoarded.

On Tuesday, even the Opposition had charged the government with facilitating the hoarders by introducing a high denomination currency after junking Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November 2016.

The All India Bank Employees' Association, too, attacked the government for introducing Rs 2,000 notes, saying: “The problem has started with the government’s decision to print Rs 2,000 notes. If withdrawing of Rs 1,000 notes was to prevent hoarding of black money, it is only obvious that hoarding will become easier with Rs 2,000 notes. Hence it is only helping the hoarders."

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