RBI, Chennai has instructed banks in the city to provide fresh currency notes to their customers
This festival season, residents of Chennai will get to experience the feel of fresh, crisp currency notes when they withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs).
Residents said most ATMs and bank branches do not dispense fresh currency notes very often.
V. Bhuvana, a resident of Ashok Nagar, said she sometimes received rupee notes with numbers or names scribbled on them. “I specifically ask for fresh currency notes from the nationalised bank where I hold a savings account and wait for them to be given to me,” she said.
Such complaints may now reduce, as the Reserve Bank of India, Chennai, has instructed various banks in the city to provide fresh notes to its customers, particularly through ATMs.
Starting last week, RBI officials initiated the process and directed banks to feed new notes, particularly of those under the denomination of Rs. 100 and Rs. 500, into their ATMs.
“We have roped in private banks for the initiative to circulate a large number of fresh notes. Chennai has nearly 2,000 ATMs owned by private banks,” said an official.
Some customers who withdrew cash from private banks’ ATMs in the past few days said they had received fresh notes.
Meanwhile, awareness messages about soiled currency notes are also being spread on social networking websites.
A recent message said that banks may stop accepting notes with squiggles on them a few months from now.
However, RBI officials denied this and said that though banks would continue to accept them, those notes with most of the white space covered with names or numbers would be considered soiled and unfit for circulation. Banks have also been asked to train their staff members to avoid writing anything on currency notes that could reduce their life.
RBI is also pumping in coins to ensure sufficient supply. Sources said exchange melas for soiled notes and coins are being conducted through banks every month.
In the past few days, camps have been held in Vadapalani and Washermenpet and Rs. 7.5 lakh worth of coins were distributed at each camp.
In the last few months, RBI has pumped in 70-90 million pieces of coins in various denominations, worth a total of about Rs. 50 crore, every month, officials said.