September 21, 2020

Chamber rings cash alarm

Patna: Currency shortage in ATMs across Bihar has badly hit the business community.

The state’s biggest organisation of trade and industry, the Bihar Chamber of Commerce & Industries, has expressed grave concern over the situation and said that the cash crunch is badly affecting business activities in Bihar.

Chamber president P.K. Agarwal said that he had written a letter to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, RBI governor Urjit Patel, the Union secretary of financial services, and the Bihar deputy chief minister, requesting them to take measures in the interest of business and trade in Bihar and the people of the state.

“I have been receiving information from different parts of the state like Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Magadh, Patna, etc, that people are returning empty-handed from ATMs and bank counters due to shortage of currency. Business is badly affected and customers are suffering,” Agarwal said.

He pointed out that majority of businessmen in Bihar deal in cash.

“The wedding season is also going to start soon and if the current situation prevails, the people of Bihar are going to suffer. For security reasons people keep less cash with them and prefer to withdraw cash from ATMs as per their requirement,” Agarwal said. “Currently, customers are running from one ATM to another only to be told by security guards that the machines are dry.”

The business community has alleged that while banks are deducting various charges in the name of providing services, the customers can’t even withdraw their own money from the ATMs, and banks must take steps to streamline the banking system in Bihar which has virtually collapsed. Many businessmen resented that banks are not even coming up with any assurance or clarification on when the situation will normalise.

Privately, bankers are pointing out towards the new Rs 200 notes.

“ATMs have to be readjusted for keeping Rs 200 notes. Since ATMs are maintained by private agencies with inadequate work force, the process is slow,” a banker said under cover of anonymity.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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