14/11/2016 1:40 PM IST | Updated 14/11/2016 1:57 PM IST

Special Task Force Set Up To Expedite Recalibration Of ATMs

Micro ATMs will also be set up across the country to tide over the cash crunch.

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NEW DELHI -- Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das has announced that a task force is being set up under the chairmanship of deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for recalibration of ATMs to expedite the process of cash transactions.

"A task force is being set up under the chairmanship of deputy governor of the RBI to expedite this process as fast as possible. It will have representatives of banks as its members," Das told ANI.

Das said the task force will also have representatives of department of financial services and the Ministry of Home Affairs, adding the task force has been instructed to work out a strategy to expedite the whole process of recalibration of the ATMs so that the disbursement of cash at the field level is substantially improved.

"The banks have been advised to increase the cash holding limit of the banking correspondents to at least ₹50,000. In other cases, the banks would be encouraged to increase the cash holding limits beyond ₹50,000 in appropriate cases. The reach of distribution of cash especially in the rural areas will improve substantially," he added.

Das said to augment this further, the bank correspondents will be permitted by the banks to draw cash multiple times in a single day.

"The branch post offices will also be provided with adequate quantity of cash. Cash supply in adequate quantity will be made available in the branch post offices to disburse cash against account balances. There are about 1.3 lakh branch post offices in the country. So, 1.2 lakh banking correspondents and 1.3 lakh branch post offices put together, it works out to 2,50,000 points which will be made additionally available," he added.

The Economic Affairs Secretary stated that micro ATMs will be deployed in large number of areas to dispense cash against debit and credit cards.

"They will dispense cash up to the existing limits, which are there for the other ATMs. The weekly limits of withdrawal from bank accounts from ₹20,000 has been increased to ₹24,000 and the limit of ₹10,000 withdrawal per single transaction has been removed," he added.

He said that this would ensure better public convenience and the members of the public do not have to travel to the bank more than once a week.

"The exchange of notes which is currently ₹4,000 if you submit old series of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, has now been increased to ₹4,500. The main intention is to ensure that the smaller denomination currencies are also made available in the hands of the public," he added.

Das said the ATM limits also have been increased to ₹2,500 in respect of the recalibrated ATMs.

"ATMs which are recalibrated to dispense new ₹500 notes or new ₹2,000 notes, will now dispense ₹2,500 at a time. The current account business entities which are operational will be permitted to draw ₹50,000 at a time. The objective behind this is to enable such business entities to disburse wages," he added.

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He stated that the district central cooperative banks have made a representation about non-availability of adequate cash because of non-receipt of cash from the banks.

"Now, in such cases the instructions have been given to the banks to supply cash to meet the requirements of the district central cooperative banks to dispense cash against balances which are available in the accounts of individuals," he added.

The Economic Affairs Secretary also said it has been decided that all government departments and central public sector undertakings will maximise their e-transactions.

"Wherever possible, e-transactions should be the first option and resort to cash transactions should be made only in rarest of the rare cases. This would also reduce considerable pressure on the cash requirement," he added.

He said that the RBI has advised the National Payments Corporation of India to waive its transaction charges on all transactions which are settled through national financial switch, adding that this facility will be available till 31 December.

"The banks are also being advised to waive their charges for various kinds of transactions which go for similar settlements. The annual life certificate which the pensioners are required to submit during the month of November the time limit for that has been extended till 15 January 2017," he added.

Das further said that there will be separate queues for senior citizens and divyang (specially abled) persons in banks.

"There will be separate queues for people, who are visiting the bank branches for doing transactions against their bank accounts. There will be separate queues in respect of those who are visiting the bank only to exchange the old series of notes for new notes," Das said.

"Currently, the government has given exemptions to certain category of transactions where old series of ₹500 and ₹1,000 can be accepted. This limit for such exemptions is being extended from 14 November midnight to 24 November midnight," he added.

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