Published On : Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017

Cash crunch overburdens banks too as cheques not cleared for days


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: After notes of denominations of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes were declared invalid, there was a mad rush to get the old notes converted into new notes. However notes of the denomination of Rs 2000 and 500 were only dispersed by Banks. There was a dearth of notes of the denomination of Rs 100. Then there was a limitation of cash withdrawals.

While the Union Government is pushing for cashless transactions, residents, small traders and businessmen of Nagpur city are irked and surprised since the cheques submitted almost ten days ago have not yet been cleared.

People started swapping cards for making small payments. Cheques were issued for large payments. However, from December 23, 2016, many cheques were not cleared for nearly 10 days. Many people suffered because these cheques were issued for services availed and for continuation of services. When the cheques got delayed in realizing, the services were discontinued. Many who received their salaries too got a rude shock when their salaries were not credited in their accounts.

When Nagpur Today spoke to some senior bank Managers, they said that suddenly the influx of cheques for clearance increased. So the cheques got delayed in realization.

One Manager of a nationalized bank claimed that usually 3000 to 4000 cheques came up for clearance. However from December 24, 2016, the number of cheques increased to 8000 to 10000 per day. The additional workload took time in handling. However, by January 2, 2017, things have been regularized.

While speaking to Nagpur Today, Tarun Mehra a Businessman, said that he had submitted a cheque of a Nationalized Bank at another Nationalized Bank on December 20, 2016. However, the cheque has not been cleared as yet. He claimed that he saw many customers questioning the bank Manager about the cheque clearance. Though officials blamed heavy workload and excessive number of cheques for clearance, Tarun Mehra opined that the inter-bank network must have collapsed post-demonetization.

Vaishali Samuel, a teacher told Nagpur Today that she had submitted a cheque at another Nationalized Bank on December 27, 2016 and whenever she went to the bank, the staff says it’s been delayed due to demonetization. When she went on to explain that the cheque is of local branch of a Nationalized bank and can be cleared manually, the bank officials blamed it on excessive workload.

A senior bank official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the merger of many banks could be the reason for stopping ECS payments. As the process of reissuing account numbers is under way, some services have been deferred for a while. It has nothing to do with demonetization, he added.

A member of Bank Employees’ Association said on condition of anonymity that personnel of all banks have been busy post-demonetization. The workload has increased and they are doing everything possible to meet the expectations of customers. He complained that many employees are taking leave and that’s another reason for the workload. Many other factors are hampering the routine work, including cheque clearance.