ATMs in several Indian states are running short of cash

  • Shortage first began in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Currently ₹1,250,000 million is in circulation.
  • Politicians are also apparently stocking up on ₹2000 notes ahead of the next general elections in 2019

It seems ATMs all over India are short on cash flow. According to reports, the shortage, which first began in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, has now spread to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar.

Post demonetisation, people are understandably afraid that they will have to deal with snaking queues in front of ATM machines and banks. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken cognizance of the matter and has assured citizens that there is no shortage of funds in circulation. The reason given for this shortage is a sudden and unusual increase in the number of withdrawals.

At the moment, 1,250,000 million is in circulation but the problem lies in the fact that it is not distributed evenly. Minister of State for Finance, SP Shukla told ANI, “We’ve cash currency of 1,25,000 cr right now. There is one problem that some states have less currency and others have more. The government has formed a state-wise committee and RBI also formed a committee to transfer currency from one state to other. It will be done in 3 days.”

On 30 March, the Times of India reported that the bail-in clause in the proposed Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, 2017, fuelled rumours that the money will not be safe in banks if the Bill became a law. This triggered an unusually high amount of withdrawals in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Though the government rubbished this claim, people unwilling to take a chance withdrew whatever they could.

Also, the bank employees association alleged that politicians are stocking up on ₹2000 notes ahead of the next general elections in 2019. They fear that a spate of bank frauds may also have led to this.
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