Most Jamshedpur banks continued to implement on Monday the Indian Banking Association (IBA) directive, announced on November 18, which permitted each bank to exchange demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes only for account holders on November 19.
But, as the IBA directive drastically reduced bank crowds, it continued to be enforced on Monday, a convenience for banks and just the opposite for the masses, many of whom did not even know that the rule existed.
Only senior citizens are permitted to exchange the old currency notes at any branch.
“We were told that exchange of scrapped currencies could be done at any bank till December 30. From Saturday, banks are telling us we can exchange notes only where we have accounts. It is sheer harassment. I learnt this after I stood in the queue on Monday at the Golmuri SBI for more than 40 minutes,” said Harpreet Singh (38), a resident of Tuiladungri.
“The directive from IBA was ’till further notice’ and we are following it till today (Monday). Those with accounts are allowed to exchange currencies from their respective banks. This has been done for crowd management,” said East Singhbhum lead district manager and Bank of India official Phalguni Roy.
At ATMS, cash continues to get exhausted in two hours on an average, causing heartburn. Unlike in the metros, Jamshedpur ATMs are only dispending Rs 100 notes and not the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 ones. ATM machines have not yet been recalibrated to dispense the new currencies.
But bankers claimed queues before ATMs were less.
“We have introduced mobile cash vans. Service providers are loading cash at all ATMs at least once a day. Queues are less,” said SBI main branch chief manager Kumod Jha.
In Jamshedpur banks, Rs 2,000 and Rs 100 notes are being disbursed. None of the city banks with chest facility knew when the new Rs 500 notes would arrive.