Cash crunch crisis: “Is there a financial emergency?” Limit ‘imposed’ on withdrawal from ATMs

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Indians up and down the country have now reported that they were facing severe cash crunch, similar to the one they were forced to witness in the days immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the shock demonetisation in November 2016.

Photo: Tweeted by journalist Ashutosh Mishra

People in several states including Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Dellhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have shared their woes on not being able to get access to their own money because the ATMs had stopped dispensing money.

West Bengal Chief Minister asked if the country was witnessing a ‘financial emergency.’ She tweeted, “Seeing reports of ATMs running out of cash in several States. Big notes missing. Reminder of #DeMonetisation days. Is there a Financial Emergency going on in the country?”

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Twitter to confirm that the country was indeed facing a cash crunch but sought to assure the public that the crisis was only temporary. He, however, did not explain as to what had caused the crisis to unfold in such magnitude. He wrote, “Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all 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.”

Meanwhile, a journalist working for India Today Group, visited several and found that while most of ATMs had stopped dispensing cash, others had imposed a limit on the amount to be withdrawn. One ICICI bank ATM was seen dispensing only Rs 4,000. The last time such restriction was imposed was immediately after the note ban was declared on 8 November 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra has already left the country for a three-nation tour. Social media users have begun mocking the prime ministers for his decision to leave the country even amidst an unprecedented crisis.