ATMs Run Dry: What's Behind The Cash Crunch?

More than 80% of the ATMs are functioning and the government is in constant touch with banks and RBI to ensure that the ATMs are adequately stocked

"The temporary shortage caused by "sudden and unusual increase" in some areas is being tackled quickly", the finance minister tweeted on Tuesday.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a three-member committee to take stock of the situation. "We had adequate reserves of currency notes which have been used to meet fully the extraordinary demand generated so far", the finance ministry statement said.

As per the reports from several states, ATMs are running out of cash. It cited bank officials' statements that people have been withdrawing cash more than they require at the beginning of the month. Nirav Modi fled with Rs30,000 crore and the PM didn't utter a word.

"We are facing a cash crunch". "16.5 lakh crore notes were printed & circulated in markets, but where are Rs 2,000 notes going?" "I would urge public to return the excess Rs 2000 notes to banks as we have to keep the system running". She also wondered whether there was a "financial emergency" in the country. Modi's opponents have latched on to the latest reports of cash shortages, questioning his government's handling of the economy. "Smaller denominations like Rs 200 are yet to see a proper circulation as they are mostly available at the banks while only a few ATMs have been calibrated to dispense them. It is clarified at the outset that there is sufficient cash in the RBI vaults and currency chests".

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It is more than 18 months since the whole country's citizens were paraded on the streets by the Demonetisation 2016 and the days are here again with No Cash board greeting on ATMs, especially in non-BJP ruled states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal.

Also, he mentioned that some states may be having more currency while some may be having less currency and that the sudden withdrawal may be since people may have increase the cash withdrawals and so some of the states may have less currency than the others.

V. Balasubramanian, spokesperson for the ATM industry, said, "ATM service provider do a daily calculation of the cash required which is sent to banks in the night for the next day". Currency in circulation on 4 November 2016 was Rs17.74 lakh crore.

Soon after reports of cash crunch emerged from several states across the country owing to ATMs drying up, the Finance Ministry rushed to calm the situation of unrest. "The SBI chief said this was restricted to certain states where the demand has gone up, a possible reason was that the agricultural procurement season has started". The Department of Economic Affairs also confirmed that the government is ensuring to normalise non-functional ATMs and supplying them with cash.

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