‘Demonetisation may have cost banks Rs 3,000 cr per day’


On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdrew its previous directive that required deposits above Rs 5,000 in old currency notes be justified to two bank officers. To understand the impact of this move, Business Standard spoke to the HARVINDER SINGH, general secretary of the All India Bank Officers Confederation.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has withdrawn its previous directive that required deposits above Rs 5,000 in old currency notes to be explained to bank officers. What do you make of this?

A: We have been pleading before RBI and Ministry of Finance that instructions issued for general public must be always clear. What was happening was that instructions issued through electronic media or notifications were reaching banks much later than when the people at large were coming to know. There was time gap between the implementation of the instructions issued by the RBI/government because when the instructions reach banks, they would have to modify their systems so that the instructions are implemented.

For example, one instruction came that we will permit withdrawal of 2.5 lakhs per family where there are marriages. Lot of conditionality were put. But these instructions were made viral during the mid of the day but actually these instructions were received by banks two days after. For these 2-3 days bank officers were facing a lot of problem.

Right from the day this policy of demonetization was declared we have been pleading with the RBI and government that you consult with us. We will give you the ground level problems. We will give you suggestions for smoother implementation. But no opportunity was ever granted to us.

When these instructions were given on 19th of December, it was a surprise for everyone – general public as well as bankers. We were in a fix.


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