‘Unusual demand’ reason for cash crunch, says Govt

arun jaitely
File Photo

New Delhi, April 17: Amidst reports of a cash crunch and empty ATMs, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday sought to assuage fears, saying “there is more than adequate currency in circulation”, even as the government blamed “unusual demand” for shortages in some areas.

“Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly,” Jaitley tweeted.

His tweet came following some reports that ATMs have run out of money in some parts of the country.

Currency shortage was reported in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh in the past few weeks. There were also complaints of shortage in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bihar on Monday.

Troubled customers also tweeted about the non-availability of cash at ATMs.

Communist Party of India member Sitaram Yechury too took to Twitter to express his angst.

Meanwhile, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said: “We’ve cash currency of Rs 1,25,000 crore right now. There is one problem that some states have less currency and others have more. Government has formed state-wise committee and RBI also formed committee to transfer currency from one state to other. It will be done in three days.”

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said that ”like many other states, Chhattisgarh has been affected by a cash crunch. The situation will be resolved as soon as possible”.

Reacting to the situation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said it reminds her of the demonetisation days.

She also asked whether a “financial emergency” was going on in the country.

According to Reserve Bank of India data, currency in circulation as on April 6 was Rs 18.17 lakh crore.

Industry experts feel the shortage has been caused because of cash hoarding of the Rs 2,000 currency notes.


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