TAMIL NADU

Exchanging notes continues to be hard

EVEN BEFORE business hours: People waiting in a queue in front of State Bank of India branch in Ramanathapuram on Sunday.— Photo: L. Balachandar

EVEN BEFORE business hours: People waiting in a queue in front of State Bank of India branch in Ramanathapuram on Sunday.— Photo: L. Balachandar  

Fishermen and majority of rural people continued to struggle to exchange the demonetised 500 and 1000 rupee notes, though nationalised and private banks functioned on Sunday.

All the more than 170 branches functioned up to 5 p.m. but most of the branches accepted only deposits as they could not exchange the demonetised rupee notes for want of 100 and 500 denomination rupee notes, K.S. Suresh Babu, District Lead Bank Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, said.

“The situation is likely to ease after banks receive Rs. 100 and new 500 rupee currency notes in the coming days,” he told The Hindu . There were about 125 ATMs in the district and many of them remained closed for the fourth day for want of 100 rupee notes. The ATMs would function only after they were configured for dispensing new 500 and 2000 rupee notes, he said. “Less than 10 ATMs would have functioned on Sunday,” he said.

On the other hand, deposits witnessed sharp increase in almost all the branches, he said adding even smaller branches had recorded deposits running to about Rs. 2 crore in the last few days. Some of the branches in Kilakarai, where affluent people lived, the deposits had risen to nearly Rs. 10 crore, he added.

Branch mangers were happy that people turned up to close the ‘Non Performing Asset,’ he said. Branches were likely to receive 100 rupee notes on Monday and new 500 rupee notes from Tuesday onwards, he said. Branches had adequate ‘stock’ of new 2000 rupee notes but that was not much use to the public as they faced difficulty in getting change, he said.

M.r Babu visited branches in Azhagankulam, Perungulam, Uchipulli and Thangachimadam and inspected their functioning. As a large number of fishermen thronged branches in Thangachimadam, they were regulated with the help of police, he said.

Feeling the crunch, people turned up and formed serpentine queues in front of the bank branches well ahead of the opening time. Some of them waited in the queue for more than two hours to exchange old notes. They were not worried about depositing the old currencies but exchanging them for Rs. 4,000 for day-to-day expenditure.

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