Even as the government's deadline for depositing scrapped currency nears, State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has warned that given the ongoing cash crunch, it's unlikely that restrictions on cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs will be lifted immediately.
The Hindu reported Bhattarcharya as saying, "We have to see... if there is cash I will give it, if there is no cash, whether restriction or no restriction, I cannot give it," Bhattarcharya said. "The restrictions will be decreased over a period of time. Nobody wants everyone rushing to the banks thinking there are no restrictions so let me get back everything."
Since the government's move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in early November, which made up 86 per cent of total money in circulation, much of the country has been thrown into cash chaos as the Reserve Bank's printing presses have been slow to print money. The government and RBI have urged the public to use plastic money and are pitching the long-term benefits of a cashless economy.
Limits on cash withdrawals are currently set at Rs.24,000 a week and Rs.2,500 from ATMs, according to RBI.