After 21 Months Of Demonetisation, 18,135 SBI ATMs Still Can't Dispense New Notes: RTI Reply
A Right To Information (RTI) query has revealed that even after 21 months of demonetisation, government-run lender State Bank Of India (SBI) is yet to recalibrate 18,135 automated teller machines (ATMs). Recalibration is a process by which the cassettes in the ATMs that hold cash are modified to the size of the new currency.
SBI yet to recalibrate over 18k ATMs
Reportedly, Madhya Pradesh based RTI activist Chandrashekhar Gaud had asked the SBI as to how many of their ATMs have been recalibrated to dispense the new currency notes of Rs 500, Rs 200 and Rs 2000.
According to Times Of India, SBI, in a reply sent on August 18 said that so far 41,386 ATMs have been recalibrated and an amount of Rs 22.50 crore was spent on this work. SBI has a total of 59,521 ATMs across India, and hence, it is evident that even after 21 months of demonetisation, 18,135 SBI ATMs are not yet equipped to dispense the new currency notes.
Moreover, RBI introduced new Rs 100 notes in July which are to be used along with the old notes which are still a legal tender.
What happened during demonetisation?
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes worth Rs 500 and Rs 1000 – essentially, 87% of India’s currency. The government claimed that the action would crack down on the use of illicit and counterfeit cash which were being used to fund illegal activity and terrorism. New currency notes worth Rs 500, Rs 200 and Rs 2000 were then issued by the Reserve Bank Of India in a phased manner. A large part of demonetisation was recalibrating about two lakh ATMs in the country by removing the cassettes and inserting new ones that dispense the notes.
However, V Balasubramanian, President- Transaction Processing & ATM Services, Financial Software and Systems (FSS), in an interview with The News Minute in 2016 had said that the process of recalibration actually takes between 30-60 minutes if all the stakeholders are present.