New Delhi: The cash crunch in banks and ATMs is expected to continue for at least one more week, according to an intelligence report which attributed the unprecedented situation to a huge gap in demand and supply of currency notes.
Based on a report prepared by the intelligence agencies, Home Ministry officials said there has not been enough money in circulation. People are hoarding smaller denomination and not spending Rs 100 notes which they are getting either after exchanging the defunct Rs500 or Rs1,000 currency notes or from the ATMs, they said.
Due to huge gap in demand and supply of currency, the cash shortage will continue for at least one more week, officials said.
The new notes of Rs100 and Rs500 are not in circulation in enough numbers, leading to the inconvenience faced by the people. The problem is acute in Delhi and a few major urban centres as not enough ATMs are working and refill remains very slow.
Unless the ATMs are operationalised as early as possible, the long queues outside the banks will continue, the officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced that Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes ceased to be legal tender and asked people possessing such notes to deposit or exchange the same with banks. He had said new Rs2,000 and Rs 500 notes would be introduced with different colour and design.
However, to dispense these new notes, the ATMs need to be recalibrated. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that it will take up to three weeks for all two lakh ATMs in the country to be recalibrated.