After reports started pouring in, that ATMs in many states were running out of cash, the finance ministry held a press conference to reassure the people that there was enough cash in the system. Attributing the shortage of cash in ATMs to unusually high demand the government said that the demand spiked to Rs 45,000 crore in the first 13 days of April, compared to average demand of about Rs 20,000 crore a month.
The government along with the RBI was taking steps to ensure cash supply and that non-functional ATMs started working at the earliest.
“The government would like to assure all the people that there has been adequate supply of currency notes which has met entire demand so far. The government would also like to assure that it would be supplying adequate currency notes to meet even higher levels of demand if such demand were to continue in the coming days/months,” according to the department of economic affairs.
Secretary, department of economic affairs, SC Garg, said that the sudden cash demand was a localised phenomenon and the government will look into the reasons for it. People in states including Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar said that they were not able to withdraw cash from some ATMs.
Earlier in the day Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the cash crunch as a ‘temporary shortage’ and assured that the situation will be tackled quickly.
In response to the ATMs running dry the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the government of weakening the banking system, in a tweet.
समझो अब नोटबंदी का फरेब
आपका पैसा निरव मोदी की जेब
मोदीजी की क्या ‘माल्या’ माया
नोटबंदी का आतंक दोबारा छाया
देश के ATM सब फिर से खाली
बैंकों की क्या हालत कर डाली#CashCrunch
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 17, 2018
What the government said:
- About 500 cr of Rs 500 notes are printed per day. Steps to raise this production 5 times will be taken, increasing the supply of of Rs 500 notes per day to about 2500 cr. In a month, supply would be about 70000-75000 cr.