New report punctures Arun Jaitley’s claims that normalcy in currency operations restored

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday made a sensational claim that normalcy had been restored within few weeks of the unprecedented decision to recall 86 percent of the high-denomination currency in circulation.
Jaitley didn’t stop here. He went a step further and announced that there was absolutely no no shortage of notes in market.

arun jaitley's claims puntured

Jaitley, according to a report by PTI, said that currency note printing presses of Reserve Bank of India as well as Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) have worked without a break to remonetise by issuing new bank notes.

Speaking at the 11th Foundation Day function of SPMCIL in the national capital, he made fun of his government’s critics saying that the easiest task during demonetisation was to pass comments and make snide remarks.

“But, the toughest work is to implement it. This is perhaps the biggest demonetisation drive in the world that was aimed at striking at the very root of corruption, black money and counterfeit currency,” he said.

Stating that people often commented that it may take up to one year or at least seven months to restore normalcy, he said the task has been achieved within a few weeks. “Normalcy has been restored within a few weeks and there is no shortage (of bank notes) in market for even a day,” he said.

And this has been achieved “without a single incident” of unrest anywhere in the country, he said, adding that this was possible because of the exemplary work done by the printing presses of RBI and SPMCIL who kept the supply line going.

However, Jaitley’s claims were far from the ground reality as millions across India continued to complain about dry ATMs even 100 days after the original announcement.

A report by IANS said that only one ATM in Laxmi Nagar of east Delhi was found dispensing cash out of a total of eight visited by its reporter. Rest either had ‘no cash’ signs or were simply ‘out of order’.

In posh Yusuf Sarai area of south Delhi, the ATMs of HDFC Bank, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndusInd Bank were all found cashless. An Axis Bank ATM, according to the agency report, was the only one found with cash in the vicinity.
The situation in Sansad Marg (Parliament Street) was no different as none of the four State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs had cash, in addition to an Axis Bank machine near the YMCA nearby, which has not had cash since the demonetisation on November 8 last year.
In Delhi’s most happening Connaught Place, as many as eight ATMs were found to be either dysfunctional or without cash. This was reported from just two blocks of the shopping hub of Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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