BUSINESS

SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya Says Cash Crunch Will Improve By End Of Next Month 

She claims that 85-90 per cent of cash crunch has eased since demonetisation.

31/01/2017 10:25 AM IST | Updated 31/01/2017 10:30 AM IST
Ruben Sprich / Reuters

State Bank of India Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya today claimed that 85-90 per cent of cash crunch has eased post demonetisation, adding that the situation will improve by end of next month.

"We have been monitoring the average amount withdrawn by a person... The average ticket size withdrawn from an ATM is Rs 3,000. However, during demonetisation (when withdrawal of old notes were announced by the Centre in November), there was lot of fear among people. They felt that if I do not take enough cash, I will not get it anymore," she told reporters at the sidelines of a function here.

People were withdrawing larger and larger amounts "due to fear," she said.

"But, when people know that they can take money whenever they can go to an ATM and get it, situation will revert back to normal. I have said in many interactions that based on our estimates, by end of February, these things will almost revert back to normal. Please stand by," she said.

On the effects of demonetisation in the banking sector, she said, "during the first four to six weeks, when it was announced, banks were working towards exchanging money and did not do much of regular works."

"As a result, much of regular works like giving loans (to customers) went down. That will obviously have an impact on industry. I think this situation will improve in two or three months," she said.

On her expectations from the budget, she said, "given the type of fall in demand which we have seen in the recent past, this budget has to be more consumption and investment oriented."

"In the last few years, we have been asking for investment oriented because we were not seeing so much of private investment coming in..And a lot of private balance sheets are also stressed. Today people are not buying because of some uncertainty. So in order to bring back confidence into the economy it is important for the government to give signal that consumption is fine and it is okay to do it. And therefore, budget has to look at both sides-- both consumption and investment," she said.

Bhattacharya was here to unveil a series of initiatives taken up by SBI Chennai Circle which include wealth management initiative -- SBI Exclusif, Chennai Metro Transit Combo Card, an e-Hundi facility for pilgrims at Srirangam Temple and a tab kiosk.

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