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31 Dec 2016

Last-minute rush to deposit old currency

A queue at Bank of Baroda's Dakbungalow branch on Friday. Pic: Nagendra Kumar Singh
Roshan Kumar, TT, Patna, Dec. 30: People queued up to deposit their demonetised currency notes in banks today, the last day of the Centre's deadline.
With the Prime Minister's 50-day period over, people also wished for a relaxation in withdrawal limits.
Ranjan Verma, who had come to withdraw money from his account at SBI's Gandhi Maidan branch, said: "Modi ji had asked 50 days, we have given him 50 days' time. We now expect the government to increase the withdrawal limit from banks and ATMs." Verma who works with a telecom company, said owing to the withdrawal limit, he faced problems while paying rent, school fees, grocery and others.
Banks saw huge crowds come to deposit old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Many came to deposit bigger amounts and some just one or two old notes.
Ganesh Kumar, a mechanic with the electricity department, was at SBI's secretariat branch for depositing Rs 24,000 in scrapped notes. Initially hesitant to disclose where he had kept the money, he later said: "My wife had kept the money in the house. We came across it later." Asked why he took a last-minute decision to deposit a huge amount, Ganesh said: "We didn't get time as everyone was busy."
Anand Kumar, a student, had come to deposit two old Rs 500 notes. "I found them while going through the pages of my economics book," he said.
The SBI's secretariat branch saw around 30 customers come to deposit old notes valued at Rs 1.5 lakh.
Similarly, around 10 customers turned up at Bank of Baroda (Fraser Road branch) to deposit Rs 52,000 in scrapped notes. A Bank of India branch saw around 10 persons depositing Rs 51,000 in scrapped notes.
Rakesh Manik, assistant general manager at a Bank of India branch, said: "The Bank of Baroda branches (40) have received deposits of around Rs 700 crore till date. There are 40 branches associated with the Bank of Baroda's Fraser Road currency chest."
Sources said RBI has sought details from banks on deposit of old notes.
Apart from banks witnessing a huge deposit of old cash and restricted withdrawal, banks have also started the process of going for cashless transactions. Bank of Baroda has distributed around 200 point of sale machines. Similarly, Union Bank of India (R-Block branch) has distributed around 25 such devices.
The functioning of ATMs, too, has improved. SBI assistant general manager (ATM operations) Anand Bikram said: "On December 30, of 324 SBI ATMs in Patna district, 315 were functioning. Of 2,000 SBI ATMs in Bihar, 1,877 were functioning."
Bikram said: "We have recalibrated most of the ATMs for even Rs 500 denomination notes."

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