Adequate currency in circulation, says Arun Jaitley

There have been reports of currency shortage in at least six states - Gujarat, Eastern Mahashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Economic Affairs secretary further told the media that the government will supply Rs 2,500 crore of Rs 500 notes per day.

Whatever the reasons, it is hard to recall the last time when there was such a currency shortage except in the first few months after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, 2016. 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.

State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, said cash availability at its ATMs has increased in the past 24 hours. The Government and RBI should act quickly to remedy the situation and stop giving the aam aadmi a fright as now and give no room for people to ask, Shouldn't the Government manage the economy better? He blamed the crisis on a sudden spurt in demand and assured that the situation was being tackled.


Banks, they said, are replenishing cash at ATMs. As many as 92 per cent of its ATMs were working today as against around 85 per cent yesterday.

The Government is taking all steps to ensure that ATMs are supplied with cash and to get non-functional ATMs normalised at the earliest. Some psychological feeling why not keep some cash in pocket rather than keeping in banks.

The RBI and the Union finance ministry have a lot of answering to do on the renewed currency shortage reported in many states. "And it could be a local management issue not a countrywide phenomena", he said. Meanwhile, SBI Research pegged the cash shortfall in the system at Rs 70,000 crore, which is a third of the monthly withdrawals at ATMs. Government sources said on an average 10-12 per cent of ATMs at a given point of time remain under maintenance or closed and so now only a small number of ATMs are extraordinarly out of service.

"As of March, the currency in circulation was Rs 18.29 lakh crore as against Rs 17.89 lakh crore just before demonetisation", he added. Reports of cash shortage first emerged from southern states Andhra and Telangana.

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