Cash crunch: Jaitley says temporary shortage at ATMs

As automated teller machines (ATMs) in several states went dry presenting a situation reminiscent of demonetisation days, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday sought to allay fears that there was a cash crunch in the system and said it was a temporary phenomenon arising out of uneven cash distribution in certain geographies.

He said the problem will be sorted out quickly. "Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by 'sudden and unusual increase' in some areas is being tackled quickly," Jaitley said in his tweet.

States including poll bound Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Telangana reported shortage of cash at ATMs.

The RBI too took stock of the situation and found that the rate of cash withdrawal in these states was higher than cash deposits.

The Finance Ministry officials said there has been an unusual spurt in currency demand in these states.

"The government with RBI has taken all steps to meet this unusual demand. We have adequate reserve of currency notes to meet any demand. The government would like to assure people that it is in the position to supply currency notes to meet even higher levels of demand," the officials said.

They said the government was taking all steps to ensure that ATMs were supplied with cash and to get non-functional ATMs normalised at the earliest.

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