A day after Prime Minister Narendra chaired a meeting to review the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes and its impact, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Monday announced that the now defunct currency would be accepted at government hospitals, petrol stations and toll booths till November 24.
The Prime Minister’s meeting came amid continuing chaos and growing public anger across the country over limited cash availability following the surprise demonetisation of two higher value notes.
On Sunday, the cash withdrawal limit at ATMs was hiked to Rs. 2,500 from Rs. 2,000 a day.
The weekly limit of Rs 20,000 for withdrawal from bank counters was also increased to Rs. 24,000. The maximum limit of Rs. 10,000 a day on such withdrawals has been removed. More…Mr. Das says the focus of the government is on activating all channels whereby cash is dispensed to the public. He adds that banking correspondent will now be allowed to withdraw cash multiple times as opposed to only once a day earlier. “Banks to increase cash holding limit of banking correspondents to Rs 50,000.”
Micro ATMs will be set up across the country to tide over the cash crunch.
Clarifying on the recalibration of ATMs, he says a task force has been set up to address the issue at the earliest.The recalibrated ATMs will start dispensing Rs. 2,000 notes within two days.
Regarding the situation in post offices, he says the supply of cash to the 1.3 lakh branches will be enhanced. Also, those businesses with current accounts with banks can withdraw up to Rs 50,000 to pay wages to their employees.
To a question on the reasons for the delay, he explains that each ATM carries four trays and three of them carry Rs. 500, Rs. 1,000 notes. Those trays have to be replaced and recalibrated. And, only only one tray is being used right now.
“Please remember, it’s a huge task. Even the Prime Minister said that there would be inconvenience. But the govt. is doing all it can and the situation is improving every day and every hour,” he says.
Banks closed today; queues get longer at ATMs
Cash-strapped people were seen standing outside ATMs from early morning but had very little success as most of the machines were running dry. Scuffle and heated exchanges at ATMs were reported from many parts of the country.
Congress, TMC meet to plan united fight in Parliament
Congress and TMC leaders will discuss and chalk out a strategy to counter the Centre on the demonetisation issue during the Winter Session of Parliament.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and his counterpart in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge will meet TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, sources said.
U.P. Congress leader backs move
Our correspondent Smita Gupta reports that Congress leader Harikesh Bahadur has come out in support of the government’s move to scrap the notes. Mr. Bahadur, on Monday, issued a statement saying,”The decision to ban Rs. 1000 / Rs. 500 currency notes is a correct and a necessary measure to restore financial discipline and regulate the economy. It will unearth black money and act as a deterrence on generation of black money. All citizens should prepare themselves to tolerate minor hardship for some time for development of the nation and prosperity of the people.(sic)” More…
Mamata calls up Yechury, but to no avail
A day after she urged all the Opposition parties, including the CPI(M), to unite against the demonetisation move, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she called up President Pranab Mukherjee and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Sunday.
“Ms. Banerjee made a frantic call to Mr. Yechury today [Sunday] afternoon when he was travelling. The Chief Minister urged him to unite against the centre. But Mr. Yechury said that he would only be able to take a call on the matter after discussing it within the party,” CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP Md. Salim told The Hindu. More…