The average deposit size for people putting their money into banks under the cash demonetization drive is Rs 45,811, according to the data released by State Bank of India.
A total of 76,000 cr has been deposited via SBI branches, and close to another 3 lakh cr has been deposited via other banks.
The numbers raise the uncomfortable question of why people are rushing to the banks on the first two to three days with lakhs of rupees and overloading the system.
It can’t be because they need immediate cash for emergencies as whatever amount they deposit, they can only withdraw 10,000.
So what is driving this mad rush in the first three days forcing everyone to stand in queues for hours together? Why can’t people wait for a few days before depositing their money in the interest of the smooth working of the process?
Most people seem to be afraid of keeping cash at home for any length of time, despite an assurance that they have till Dec 30 to submit their amounts.
“It looks like they are paranoid that keeping cash at home even for a day will invite punitive action,” said an employee at a public sector bank.
On the positive side, the initial rush suggests that much of the work in exchanging notes has already been carried out and the pace of deposits is likely to slacken towards the end of this month.