Plan to extend the scheme to other cities across the State

To ensure adequate stock of coins in circulation in the city, the Reserve Bank of India, Chennai region, is encouraging banks to install coin vending machines in their branches.

At present, 20 such machines have been installed in branches of various banks in several areas across the city, including Ayanavaram, Teynampet, Purasawalkam, Kilkattalai, Mylapore and Mogappair.

Sources in the RBI said that the RBI provided incentives to banks that installed machines in their branches. While 50 per cent of the capital cost incurred in the purchase of the machines was reimbursed to those in urban areas, nearly 75 per cent of the cost was reimbursed when the machines were installed in rural banks.

RBI’s office on Rajaji Salai is too visited by several people to make use of the five coin vending machines on the premises. In the last four months, RBI has intensified measures to distribute coins to consumers through market distribution scheme. It distributes nearly Rs.50 lakh worth of coins every month in 12 markets chosen across the city.

RBI plans to extend the scheme to other cities across the State soon. Sources said that RBI pumps in 70-90 million pieces of coins in various denominations worth about Rs. 50 crore every month in the past few months.

RBI is also in the process of identifying 18 branches of various banks, including private ones, to set up dedicated counters to exchange soiled notes and retail distribution of coins.

Though RBI has instructed the banks to exchange soiled currency notes and provide coins daily, customers said they had to wait for long hours in banks to get coins. Sometimes, customers were asked to visit bigger bank branches to obtain coins.

RBI has tied up with various banks to conduct coin melas in busy trade hubs in the city. During the camps held in several bank branches between January 8 and January 11 in view of pongal, nearly Rs.1.5 crore worth of coins were distributed.

Officials said that the RBI had tied up with 10 banks to conduct camps in its stall in the ongoing trade fair on Island grounds.

About Rs.1.20 crore worth coins and Rs.7 crore worth fresh currency notes are expected to be distributed at the fair. Similarly, a private bank was involved in distributing Rs.50 lakh worth of coins at the ongoing Chennai book fair at Nandanam.

  • “RBI provides incentives to banks that install machines in their branches”

  • “At present, 20 such machines have been installed in branches of various banks”