Some bank branches ran out of cash and temporarily halted the exchange of withdrawn Rs 2000 currency notes as they awaited replenishment of supply from the currency chest on the second day of note swap on Wednesday. More than anticipated demand during the first half in some of the branches led to the shortage of Rs 500 and below denomination currency temporarily at some places, sources said.
Customers had to wait for some time till replenishment came from the currency chest, sources added. However, senior officials of various banks said there were no major complaints of currency shortage for exchange.
“We are maintaining a continuous supply of Rs 500, 200 and 100 denominations notes at all our all branches across Delhi circle to ensure smooth exchange process of 2,000 rupee notes,” Canara Bank Chief General Manager (CGM) Bhavendra Kumar said. Reserve Bank on May 19 announced withdrawal of Rs 2,000 notes and permitted exchange of such notes up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time till September 30.
Unlike November 2016, when old 500 and 1000 rupee notes – constituting some 86 per cent of the currency in circulation – were banned overnight, Rs 2000 currency notes continue to be legal tender for now, and the exchange window is more than double of that provided in 2016. While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not made the presentation of a valid ID or filling of deposit forms mandatory, there were complaints from some places that banks were demanding customers to submit identity cards as proof.
Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said that RBI is monitoring the situation regularly with regard to the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes and expressed confidence that the entire exercise will be completed in a non-disruptive manner. He said that RBI has given four-month time for exchanging as well as depositing the Rs 2,000 currency notes to ensure that there is no hardship faced by anyone. ”Yesterday there was no crowd anywhere. And we are monitoring the situation regularly. I don’t think there is any concern or any major issue which is coming out…business activities going on,” he said.
Justifying the deadline, he said unless there is a timeline in any process, it’s not effective. ”So you need to give a timeline and we have given sufficient time,” he added. The Rs 2000 notes constitute around 10.8 per cent of total currency in circulation or Rs 3.6 lakh crore. Das said these notes had completed the lifecycle and the purpose has been fulfilled. ”It’s not being used in transactions…any high denomination currency just remaining here and there, it has other collateral issues,” he said. These high denomination notes were used for quick replacement of currencies whose legal tender status was withdrawn in 2016, he said.