Chaos from note ban continues as queues swell at banks, ATMs


  • 16 Nov 2016
Chaos from note ban continues as queues swell at banks, ATMs
Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Several ATMs across the city left the people wanting to withdraw money disappointed, even as customers lined up outside banks to exchange and deposit money since early morning.

However, the indelible ink, as decided Tuesday, was not used to mark the customers at banks and post offices, which they apparently did not receive.

Grappling with unending queues and frayed tempers in banks and to check operation of syndicates, the Centre had on Tuesday decided to introduce a system of marking customers exchanging the defunct currency notes with indelible ink while monitoring suspicious deposits in Jan Dhan accounts.


Preetam More from Kannamwar Nagar of suburban Vikhroli said, "I came to stand in the queue at 6.30 in the morning and deposited the money at around 9.30 am. I was expecting to get the ink mark, as I heard in news on Tuesday, but there was no such move".

Another anxious resident from suburban Malad, Ritesh Bhaumik said, "Almost 90 per cent ATMs are not working here, but thank God I got some money exchanged from a bank by being in queue for one hour".

A frequent overseas traveller, Rajiv Singh found himself in a fix when he landed at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday and with only Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.


"I was not aware of this development (of demonetisation).

When I approached a cab driver, he instantly asked whether I have small denomination money or not. When I replied in negative, he refused to take me in the taxi. I then called up my friend in Santacruz. I don't know how he managed, but he came with some money that helped me to reach Rabale," he said.

Chembur resident Roshan Tara has also been facing inconvenience since the government's demonetisation move last week.


"My husband works in Saudi Arabia and while going to work there, he gave me some cash in Rs 500/1,000 notes to meet the daily expenses on November 2. I have three small children.

I am unable to stand for long hours in queue. I don't know what to do," she said.

Shaukat Ali, a father of two school-going children, also voiced his woes.


"My children's school is neither accepting old notes nor cheques. This is very upsetting. Government must give some directives to school managements also," he said.

Meanwhile, in some relief to patients, the civic-run King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM) in Parel here has set up two currency exchange counters in its premises.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in a statement said the KEM Hospital tied-up with Punjab National Bank and India Post to set up currency exchange counters that are being used by customers by showing case papers.


Indelible ink

To stop repeat money exchangers thronging banks with invalid currency notes, banks have started applying indelible ink mark on the right hand index finger of customers in the select metro cities.

SBI and few other banks in Delhi have started using indelible ink. As per the government statement, 11 branches of SBI are using the method to weed out customers queuing up again and again to exchange invalid currency notes.

As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for exchanging notes, concerned bank branches and post offices would put indelible ink mark on the right index finger of the customer so as to identify that he/she has exchanged the old currency notes once.

The move comes amid reports of long queues and chaotic scenes at banks and ATMs across the country for past several days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week announced the withdrawal of old Rs 500/1000 notes in the biggest crackdown on black money, corruption and counterfeit currency.

The notes withdrawn accounted for 86 per cent of the cash circulating in the Asia's third-largest economy.

The indelible ink is supplied to the bank/post offices by Indian Banks' Association (IBA) in coordination with the banks and consultation with RBI.

This procedure is being introduced to begin with in the metro cities and expanded to other areas later, the RBI said in a statement.

Identified bank branches are provided with black indelible ink bottles of 5 ml each and the cap of the bottle includes a small brush for applying the ink.

According to SOP released by the RBI, indelible ink can be applied by the cashier or any other official designated by the bank before the notes are given to the customer so that while the exchange of notes is taking place, a few seconds elapse which will allow the ink to dry up and prevent removal of ink.

Indelible ink on the index finger of the left hand or any other finger of the left hand cannot be used.

Large cash deposits under lens

The government has asked banks and post offices to report to the I-T Department all deposits above Rs 2.50 lakh in savings accounts, and more than Rs 12.50 lakh in current accounts, made during the 50-day window provided to tender the scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

As per a notification issued on Wednesday, banks, co-operative banks and post offices will have to report to the tax department cash deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 in a single day or aggregating to more than Rs 2.5 lakh during the period November 9, to December 30, 2016.

These entities will also have to report cash deposits during the period aggregating to Rs 12.50 lakh or more, in one or more current account of a person.

The Finance Ministry has notified the amended Rule for filing of Annual Information Return (AIR) report by banking company, cooperative bank and post offices on account of aggregate cash deposits in one or more current account of a person.

Banks and post offices now have to file a statement of financial transaction in respect of these transactions on or before January 31, 2017, the notification said.

Earlier, they were required to report to the I-T Department only when cash deposits in an account exceeded Rs 10 lakh in one full year.

In view of apprehensions that large number of illegal or black money may sought to be converted into white during the window provided till December 30, the Revenue Department has issued fresh set of instructions.

In a major assault on black money, counterfeit notes and terror financing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs 1000/500 and asked the public to deposit them in banks by December 30.

Since then, seemingly unending queues of people trying to deposit and exchange their scrapped currency notes are being witnesses at banks and post offices.

Tax department officers are of the view that the 50-day window provided to people to deposit or exchange notes should not be misused and hence the need to keep a tab on such high value deposits.

Those depositing large amounts of unaccounted money will have to face the consequences under tax laws, which provide for a 30 per cent tax, 12 per cent interest and a 200 per cent penalty.

"CBDT has brought two-fold amendment casting a reporting responsibility on the taxpayer as well as the bank, thereby ensuring that bank doesn't let go off the non-compliant taxpayers," Nangia & Co Managing Partner Rakesh Nangia said.

Like this report? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our top reports.

Share article on