Saturday, 19 October, 2019

SBI pegs cash shortfall at Rs 70000 crore

Subhash Chandra Garg SBI pegs cash shortfall at Rs 70000 crore
Patty Aguilar | 20 April, 2018, 16:52

Lending major State Bank of India on Thursday said that it will not charge any fees from customers who avail the facility of withdrawing cash through its PoS (Point of Sale) machines installed across various merchant locations.

Bank customers in general are overwhelmed by the reports appearing in the media about ATMs in leading cities across the country experiencing shortage of cash. "The availability of cash in the system has improved as transactions are taking place both in and out of the banks", a government source said. The "onerous guidelines" put in place by the Reserve Bank include having a minimum fleet size of 300 specifically fabricated cash vans having Global Positioning System with two custodians and two armed security guards besides the driver, they said.

Unusual spurt in demand for currency had led to many ATMs and banks running out of cash.

Mostly, the currency notes of Rupees 2,000 denomination have gone missing from ATMs in the affected areas, though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley maintained that there is enough currency in circulation and that it is a "temporary" cash shortage.

The proportion of digital transactions stands at a low Rs 1.2 trillion only, much down the immediate months following the November 2016 note ban.

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And as compared to the demonetization trends, the currency in circulation should have been around 23 trillion by now as compared to only 8 trillion as far as the previous trends were compared. It is clarified at the outset that there is sufficient cash in the RBI vaults and currency chests.

Other reasons being attributed for the cash crunch are upcoming polls in Karnataka, State Government programmes in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh that are used to make cash payments, festive seasons, and misunderstanding of the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill's "bail-in" clause, where depositors would bear a portion of any losses. In a month, supply would be about Rs 70,000-75,000 crore.

These concerns are heightened by news that emerged in February of a US$2 billion (S$2.6 billion) fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank, where a jeweller allegedly colluded with a bank employee to siphon off money before leaving the country.

An SBI Ecowrap report authored by Chief Economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh said that currency in circulation in the economy had reached Rs 18.29 lakh crore by March 2018, surpassing its pre-demonetisation level of Rs 17.98 lakh crore.

"We continue to have in stock adequate currency notes of all denominations, including of Rs.500, 200 and Rs.100 to meet any demand", finance Ministry said.

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