Thiruvananthapuram

In Kerala, all roads lead to the bank

People queue up at an SBT branch in Thrissur on Thursday to exchange the demonetised currency notes.— Photo: K.K. Najeeb

People queue up at an SBT branch in Thrissur on Thursday to exchange the demonetised currency notes.— Photo: K.K. Najeeb  

Heavy rush to exchangedemonetised currency notes

Like elsewhere in the country, bank branches across Kerala witnessed serpentine queues and heavy crowding on Wednesday as people tried to get their demonetised Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination notes exchanged with new notes.

The queues were longer and the crowds thicker at public sector and nationalised banks with some places reporting heavy gathering of people from 6 a.m.

Most banks dispensed currency notes of lower denominations and coins in exchange for the Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination notes submitted by the people. The banks had opened several additional counters to facilitate smooth exchange of notes.

However, the demand was so high that at many branches in many places, tokens were issued to the people. Branches of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) functioned till 6 p.m. Branches of most other banks also functioned till late in the evening. Long queues were also visible in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regional office in the State capital and at post offices across the State.

CM, FM write to PM

There was much confusion in the morning about the role of the cooperative banks in the entire exercise. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac wrote separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking urgent intervention to end the impasse.

Simultaneously, Cooperation Minister A.C. Moideen also wrote to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seeking concessions in the case of credit societies. Apparently in response to their plea, the RBI granted permission to the District Cooperative Banks and primary credit cooperative societies to accept Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes from know your customer (KYC) norms compliant customers.

The RBI has permitted the banks and societies to deposit the money collected from customers in the banks where they have accounts, but will not have the freedom to exchange the notes until further orders.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:41:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/In-Kerala-all-roads-lead-to-the-bank/article16442536.ece

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