ICICI Bank Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kocchar today said the Reserve Bank of India’s currency chests have enough cash and there is no situation of scarcity for banks in securing notes.
Kocchar also said that all banks including hers are bringing more and more ATMs into working mode after a change in currency put most of them out of function.
“These ATMs are not disfunctional. They have to be recalibrated and all banks, under the supervision of the RBI are doing so,” she said.
Kochhar did not say what percentage of ICICI Bank’s ATMs are up and dispensing currency.
Many teller machines come with only two cash trays, each supporting 180-200 notes. As a result, the maximum amount that can be loaded in a single machine using 100-rupee notes is Rs 4 lakh, which gets exhausted in a few hours.
The new 2000-rupee note that has been issued in place of the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes is considerably bigger in size.
This has led to the new notes not fitting inside many ATMs.
In addition, whenever a new denomination of note is entered into an ATM, the machine has to be reprogrammed to dispense the new note.
Kocchar said ICICI Bank’s ATMs were the first in the country to dispense 100, 500 and 2000 rupee notes simultaneously.
Many ATMs support only two denominations of currencies, while some of the new advanced machinese support three or even four denominations.
The government has kept the supply of 500-rupee notes under control to prevent these notes from being used to ‘churn’ existing black money holdings in 500-rupee notes.
A 2000-rupee note cannot be used to convert existing black money into new money because of the difference in value.
However, due to a big hue and cry over lack of currency, the center has released some 500-rupee notes as well in recent days.
Separately, to prevent misuse of the over-the-counter currency swap, the center has reduced the limit on the money that can be exchanged without a bank account to Rs 2,000 from Rs 4,500.
It has also introduced indelible ink to be applied on the fingers of those who exchange money without having a bank account.
Many black money holders and hawala operators had appointed dozens of young people to stand in exchange queues and get their money changed into new notes.
These ‘squads’ of currency changers would go from one bank to another, exchanging up to 20,000 per person in one single day.
In addition to making the fight against black money useless, these people also create a lot of problems for normal people who are trying to get their money exchanged for meeting emergencies.
Separately, the government has also started allowing families with impending marriages to withdraw up to 2.5 lakh from their accounts.