All banks to remain open this Saturday and Sunday, says RBI

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Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday that banks will remain open this Saturday and Sunday after government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, reported PTI.

Shaktikanta Das, secretary economic affairs in government of India, tweeted, “For public convenience, Banks will remain open on coming Saturday and Sunday.”

All banks were closed today while ATMs across the country will be closed and in some parts even tomorrow.

This decision was taken after PM Modi announced demonitising of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, anticipating panic and heavy rush at bank branches tomorrow for exchange and deposit of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, banks in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have sought deployment of police at branches in order to avoid any law and order problem.

With high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 being demonetized, banks have geared up to face the challenge of dealing with customers who are expected to come in hordes tomorrow for exchange of money when branches open.

“Sensing heavy rush at branch levels tomorrow, all the lead district managers have been asked to approach district administration for providing police security at bank branches so that there is no law and order problem,” an official of Punjab National Bank said today.

Similarly, a senior official of State Bank of India (SBI) here said that bank’s security officials have been asked to approach respective government authorities for deploying cops as well as patrolling near branches wherever the need arises.

Even as banks asserted that there was no need to panic, they said additional counters will be set up at branch levels to facilitate customers.

“We will be setting up two counters at each branch in our zone for exchange of cash,” said a senior officer of Central Bank of India.

With the setting up of additional counters, banks will also be sending extra staff to branch levels so that customers should not face any harassment.

With banks anticipating that ATMs might go empty early for some days, they have also decided that frequency of refilling cash dispensing machines will be enhanced so that customers could get cash as per their requirements.

“We shall also enhance the frequency of refilling the ATMs,” said SBI official.

Meanwhile, bank officials said that customers will fill a requisition slip as per format specified by RBI with proof of identity along with old high denomination notes for their exchange.

Banks will open tomorrow to help people exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that have been declared invalid.

After the central government made a surprise announcement of making Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes illegal from midnight, the monetary authority posted a 25-point detailed FAQs explaining the rationale behind the move.

The Reserve Bank of India had said the most important reason for the ban was the abnormal rise in fake currencies of higher denomination, and also the higher incidence of black money in the system, but assured the public that a person who changed his higher value cash will get exactly the equal amount in lower denominations.

Minutes after Modi announced the decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes from midnight, people rushed to their nearest ATMs to withdraw Rs 100 notes to meet their daily expenses.

With most ATMs programmed to dish out higher denomination notes of Rs 500 and above, people were resorting to withdrawal of smaller amounts of up to Rs 400 to avoid getting a Rs 500 banknote.

People were even seen trying to deposit banned notes in ATM vending machines.

More to follow