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ATMs run dry, officials say cash crunch temporary

Automated Teller Machines in many Indian cities ran out of notes on Tuesday.

However, authorities have allayed fears of a currency shortage saying there was more than adequate cash in circulation in the country.

ATMs were empty or not working in several states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, domestic media reported.
People in the Indian capital New Delhi also said they were not getting cash out of the ATMs, bringing back memories of long queues and non-functioning machines after the government’s cash-swap measure in November 2016.

However, cash was being disbursed at bank branches as usual.
The 2016 demonitisation measure scrapped 500- and 1,000-rupee notes (7 and 15 dollars), taking out 86 per cent of the currency in circulation in a cash-reliant economy.

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“(I) have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Overall, there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the banks,” Federal Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley tweeted on Tuesday.

“The temporary shortage cause by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly,” he said.
Jaitley’s deputy, Shiv Shukla, insisted that the problem would be resolved in the next two to three days.

He said certain states had a shortage of currency while others had a surplus, and the central bank had set up a committee to expedite the transfers within states and balance the currency situation.

Officials insisted that 85 per cent of cash machines across India were working but about five per cent were empty or affected, broadcaster NDTV reported.

Indian opposition leaders meanwhile criticized the government for mismanagement of the financial system.

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