Despite the claim of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that printing of new money was done efficiently after the November note ban and things were “normalised” in a few weeks, on Friday many ATMs here were found gasping for cash.
As IANS went around the ATMs in the national capital, it found that the situation had only marginally improved from what it was in the thick of turmoil that followed the demonetisation and that most of the cash machines still were bone dry.
Only one ATM in Laxmi Nagar of east Delhi was found dispensing cash out of a total of eight visited by IANS. Rest bore either a ‘no cash’ sign or were simply ‘out of order’.
Similarly, in the Yusuf Sarai area of south Delhi, the ATMs of HDFC Bank, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndusInd Bank were found cashless. An Axis Bank ATM was the only one found with cash in the vicinity.
Same situation prevailed in top locations like Sansad Marg (Parliament Street), where none of the four State Bank of India (SBI) ATMs had cash, in addition to an Axis Bank machine near the YMCA nearby, which has not had cash since the demonetisation on November 8 last year.
One found the situation more telling in Connaught Place, the bustling market in the heart of the capital, where as many as eight ATMs were found to be either dysfunctional or without ash over a stretch of two blocks.
These included four ATMs of SBI, two of PNB, and one each of Bank of India and Bank of Baroda.
Speaking at the 11th Foundation Day function of the Security Printing Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) on Friday, Jaitley said: “People used to guess it will take a year or seven months for remonetisation. But in a few weeks, things were normalised.”
He also applauded the security printing presses for their efficiency.