Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said there is no dearth of cash due to demonetisation, and banks are being supplied adequate currency by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He expressed regret at the political opposition over the move but ruled out a roll-back.
“The Reserve Bank is providing adequate notes to currency chests. There are around 4,400 of them. There is absolutely no shortage,” Jaitley told reporters here while asking people not to believe gossip mongers who are spreading mis-information.
“Unnecessary panic is being spread. But I didn’t expect Chief Ministers of some states joining this,” Jaitley said, in an obvious reference to West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, who have threatened an agitation if demonetisation is not rolled back.
“There is no question of a roll-back,” Jaitley said emphatically.
“I have myself seen in bank branches. Deposits are taking place, withdrawals are taking place. In the next few days, we’d have completed the world’s largest exercise in currency replacement,” he said, complementing bank employees on their commendable job.
Earlier in the day, Jailery ruled out any plan to re-monetise Rs 1,000 notes and defended the decision to reduce the exchange limit for demonetised notes to Rs 2,000.
“The government’s decision to limit the exchange of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to Rs 2,000, from the existing cap of Rs 4,500, would stop misuse of funds,” Jaitley told reporters here.
“As of now, there is no plan to reintroduce Rs 1,000 note,” he said.
The Finance Minister also said 22,500 automated teller machines (ATMs) would have been re-calibrated by end-Thursday.
“Some 22,500 ATMs will be recalibrated today to allow withdrawal of Rs 100, Rs 500 and the Rs 2,000 notes. Nearly 200,000 ATMs exist as of now,” he added.
In this connection, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday reiterated there is sufficient supply of notes and asked citizens not to hoard currency.
“The Reserve Bank of India has once again clarified today that there is sufficient supply of notes consequent upon increased production which started nearly two months ago. Members of public are requested not to panic or hoard currency notes,” the RBI said in a statement posted on its website.