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RBI directive on cash withdrawal limit leaves banks flummoxed

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By S Suchithra

Mumbai: Bank officers and staff as well as customers were flummoxed by the directive issued on Monday afternoon by the Reserve Bank of India scrapping cash withdrawal limits for the first time since the November 8 demonetization. While clients formed serpentine long queues outside branches, bank officials and staff were grossly unaware of the new regulation from the apex bank and declined to dispense cash.

A copy of the RBI circular obtained by Forever News explicitly states that upper limits for cash withdrawals against cheques stands abrogated with immediate effect- meaning morning November 29, 2016. The circular was sent to head offices of all banks on Monday to ensure its implementation the next day. This however was not the case as several dismayed customers who had lined up well before their banks opened, soon discovered.

While RBI has scrapped the upper limit for cash withdrawals against cheques, the directive carries a rider. Such withdrawals can be made only for large amounts that have been deposited before November 29 and immediately after the demonetization. Such amounts can be withdrawn only in Rs. 2,000 and Rs.500 notes.

It is unclear why bank officials and staff remained blissfully unaware about the new directive though most people who own a smartphone and use any common news app had received the news by 7pm on Monday evening. It is suspected that the topmost management of banks who received the RBI advisory had failed to percolate the information down to their branches and operations staff. The result was inevitable and heated verbal duels between aggrieved customers and gaping bank staff.

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