New Delhi: Cash position across the country is improving fast with over 80 per cent of 2.2 lakh ATMs operating normally on Wednesday, official sources said.
Unusual spurt in demand for currency had led to many ATMs and banks running out of cash in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and poll-bound Karnataka and some other states yesterday even as the government and the RBI assured the public that there was no currency shortage.
"Cash position has improved substantially as over 80 per cent of ATMs working normally across the country as against 60 per cent day before yesterday", sources said on Wednesday.
On an average 10-12 per cent of ATMs at a given point of time are usually under maintenance due to one or the other reason and remain out of service. So during normal days 88 per cent of ATMs are working and the rest are under maintenance, said sources.
They further said the situation has improved substantially with coordinated efforts of Finance Ministry, RBI, banks and cash logistic companies. Meanwhile, India's largest lender SBI today said that cash availability at its ATMs has increased in the past 24 hours.
Reports of cash shortage first emerged from southern states Andhra and Telengana. Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh and Telegana which received highest cash supply in the country in the last two years faces cash shortage, indicating tendency to hoard high denomination currency notes.
According to the RBI data, during November 2016 to March 2017, Rs 82,168 crore was supplied to Hyderabad office of RBI which is the highest amongst all the offices of RBI in the country. Similarly, during April 2017 to February 2018, Rs 51,523 crore was supplied to Hyderabad office of RBI which was again the highest amongst all the offices of RBI in the country.
Even on the Andhra Pradesh government's requests in February this year, fresh currency worth Rs 5,000 crore was despatched to REBI's Hyderabad office with instructions to ensure appropriate distribution of the cash amongst currency chests in the circles so that cases of shortage at specific places do not arise.
Earlier in November 2016, similar request from Telangana was received and situation was redressed through supply of cash to the state.
As per a recent Parliament question Reserve Bank of India (RBI) apprised that currency supply across the country is monitored regularly and adequate supplies are made available to RBI issuing offices thereby ensuring equitable distribution of currency to various parts of the country.
Banks take corrective measures, in consultation with RBI, as and when required, in case of shortage of currency, it had said.